As 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.
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.