Lamb and Spinach Filo Pie

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin lightly toasted
1/2 tsp ground coriander, lightly toasted
1 tsp ginger
500g lamb, minced
Salt and pepper

500g spinach leaves
150g Danish feta
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp chopped mint leaves

1pkt filo pastry
150g melted butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Labne

1kg thick, natural yoghurt
1 tsp salt, crushed with a clove of garlic

To Serve

500g yoghurt Labne
1 bunch chives, finely sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
Season to taste with salt and ground white pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, and spices, sweat gently for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the minced lamb and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes stirring well so the flavours mingle. Remove from the heat, tip into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

Bring a large pan of salted water to boil and add the spinach, blanch for 1 minute before tipping into a colander to drain. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then chop finely.

Add the spinach to the lamb mixture, together with the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together well. Divide the mixture into 10 even portions.

When ready to bake the pies, preheat the oven to 220°C.

Make the pies one at a time, keeping the rest of the filo sheets covered with a damp tea towel until you need them. Brush sheet of filo with melted butter and fold in half. Butter it again, and fold in half again.

Arrange a portion of filling in the centre of the pastry, and then wrap the sides up and over the top, brushing with melted butter to help seal the pastry over the filing. Invert the pie so the wrapped side is underneath. Cover with a tea towel while you make the remaining pies in the same way.

Brush the tops of all the pies with melted butter and bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Mix the icing sugar and cinnamon together and sift over the pies to serve.

Labne

Combine the yoghurt and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together thoroughly.

Line a colander or a large sieve with 2 large squares of muslin (a clean tea towel will also do the job). Spoon in the yoghurt.

Bring the corners of the muslin and tie together tightly or tie with string.

Suspend the bundle from a wooden spoon set over a bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days. The longer you hang the labne the firmer it will be. After 1 day it will be a thick and creamy cheese spread.

Hang for 48 hours.


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