Lamb & Preserved Lemon Filo Cigars…for your next Local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM

SAMSUNG CSCAs I stated in my last post, spring is here. And if, per chance, you missed that last post, maybe a kindly passing stranger informed you too. The new season brings warmer weather, pretty flowers, songful birds, pink unicorns, waterfalls made of lemonade… where was I? Oh yes, and clearly it brings a few acid flashbacks too. But it also brings the first of the most crackerjack of spring lamb… strangely enough, born in winter. Whatever, it is still damn tasty shit! This is the little sheepy that the infamous jolly swagman had stashed in his tucker-bag, and eventually gave up his life for rather than share his Sunday lamb roast with the troopers; 1, 2 and 3. If you have no idea what I am talking about that is fine by me. I’m not exactly welcoming you to a new experience there, am I?

Back to the filo cigars.

Just what you need for your next little swingers soiree or local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM. Get these suckers on the table with a few little green and red cocktail onions and maybe some French onion dip and jatz crackers, and you will need more space on your computer for all of the complimentary emails you’re going to receive.

This is a great way to use leftovers, and you all know I am a huge fan (not literally a rather large cooling device, I’d say an advocate in this case) of using up leftovers. But, if you need to cook some lamb for these I would suggest slow roasting a small shoulder, rubbed with the cumin and covered, for 4 hours at 170C or until it falls off the bone.

I have found that a lot of store bought filo pastry is still plenty flimsy and will rip and tear like the Christian who has been thrown to the lions. Do not despair though; I am not going to tell you to start making your own filo pastry. I cannot discern whether filo is of Greek or Turkish origin, but am certainly not Greek enough, and definitely not enough of a turkey to be making this from scratch. But this recipe is pretty forgiving; much like Jesus, and you can patch it up as go. Worst case scenario, you can use all of the scraps to top an awesome filo pie type thing.

Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder
Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder

Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Because this is how we roll
Because this is how we roll
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn't happy to receive them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn’t happy to receive them

LAMB & PRESERVED LEMON FILO CIGARS (should yield about 30 cigars)

3-4 cups cooked lamb shoulder, chopped pretty fine
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 quarters of preserved lemon, flesh removed and finely diced
A handful each of chopped parsley and mint
1 pack (15 or so sheets) filo pastry, defrosted if frozen
Melted butter to brush
Sumac to dust
Mint yoghurt and good company, to serve (don’t ask your good company to serve you or they will probably leave, just let them enjoy the lamby cigars with you)

• Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft. Add garlic and cumin and cook out for another minute or so
• Combine lamb, rice, onion mix, preserved lemon, herbs and a little seasoning and mix well. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Cut a filo sheet in half so you have two squares. Place an amount of lamb mix roughly the size of your little finger (if you don’t have weird hobbit-like digits) in the middle of the sheet parallel with the end closest to you
• Brush a little melted butter on the last 2cm of the filo sheet and then roll them up like you would roll a spring roll, or a cigarette or whatever it is you kids are rolling these days, folding the sides in half way through. If they tear a little at the start don’t worry too much as they will have their make-up and best looking keen-to-get-some-action boots on, and pull their sex appeal together by the end of the process. Put the seam on the bottom to keep them looking sexy
• Brush with melted butter and dust with a little sumac
• Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes until golden
• Serve with mint yoghurt, a heap of friends, booze and good times

I made a little too much of the lamb and rice mix so a “using left-overs of left-overs recipe will follow.

Have a nice day.

22 responses to “Lamb & Preserved Lemon Filo Cigars…for your next Local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM”

  1. If given an allergen free “eat anything you want day”, I could eat an entire tray of these. Had something similar at a Greek restaurant years ago. I believe they also had goat cheese. Quite tasty!

  2. I always comment before I read…I hate that you get spring and we get this heavy white snow IN SEPTEMBER. There are trees broken all over the city and the power outages are crazy. I went into freak out mode when the first four petrol stations I went to were closed…as my no fuel light was lit up like a Christmas tree.
    anyway those cigars and sound awesome. I’ve had two different versions (which I have reported on previously)
    1. bone marrow cigars
    2. halibut cigars
    cheers to cigars!!!

  3. I love Aussie Spring lamb (darn it, I’m in Autumn over here at the moment and the weather is cooling down. No lamb, either. Sad face). The combo of ingredients in these sounds amazing… I’m a huge fan of sumac and preserved lemon (I need to start making my own, I’m spending far too much money on that shit). A platter of these is a perfect way to win friends and aggravate enemies (as I wouldn’t give them one). But cocktail onions? Graz, you just took me back to the early 80’s (do you remember those sticks of cocktail onions with cubes of cheese and… please forbid… polony?! The stuff of nightmares!).

  4. !!!!!!***WOW***!!!!!!
    Just. Incredible. I have some preserved lemons that have overstayed their welcome in the fridge. I think their fate has been realised. Good work, good work indeed!

  5. As I was reading your post I was thinking “Lamb??? In the fall??” “wait did he say spring??” and then I recalled, wait a second, not everybody lives in the northern hemisphere. As temps are dropping here you’re getting all toasty, and lemme tell you, this is cool. 😛
    The only cigars i’ve ever made are of the chicken and cheese variety, so lemme tell you, this sounds AMAZING WOW. WOWOWOW.

    I need to get some lamb… oh and I guess some persevered lemons too. Sign me up for the gerbil appreciation club! sheesh! I’ll learn to love ’em if you’re serving such awesome snacks!

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