1 chicken stock cube
500g minced lamb
Vegetable oil, for cooking
2 onions, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
200ml chicken stock
4 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
100g feta cheese, diced
1 x 250g packet of filo pastry
150g butter, melted
1 tablespoon icing sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
2 cucumbers, halved lengthways, deseeded and diced
1 small bunch of mint leaves, roughly torn
1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked; stalks finely chopped
Splash of red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Tip the couscous into a bowl and boil the kettle. Crumble the chicken stock cube over the couscous and pour on enough boiling water just to cover. Mix with a fork, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 5–10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C /Gas Mark 5. Spread the minced lamb out on a baking tray and roast in the oven, stirring a couple of times to break it up, until it’s well browned and crisp. This should take
15–20 minutes. Drain in a colander and discard the lamb fat.
Warm a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and pour in a splash of oil. Add the onions and garlic and sweat gently for 10–15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft. Stir in the turmeric and cumin and cook for a further 3–4 minutes. Add the drained mince and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and reduce until there is almost no liquid remaining in the pan. At this point, stir in the sultanas and couscous, remove from the heat and cool. When cold, stir in the coriander and feta cheese. Season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 190°C /Gas Mark 5. Make the parcels. Cut the sheets of filo in half lengthways. Lay out a sheet of filo and brush it with the melted butter. Place a second one on top. Place a spoonful of the filling in one corner of the pastry, leaving a border of about 1cm around it. Carefully lift the corner of the pastry and fold on the diagonal to create a neat triangle. Continue folding the triangle, so the filling is encased in several layers of filo. As you finish each parcel, brush with a little more butter and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat the process until all the mixture is used up. Dust the filo parcels with the icing sugar and ground cinnamon. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
While the parcels are baking, mix together the cucumber, mint and coriander and, just before serving, dress with the vinegar and olive oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve the parcels with the salad and some yoghurt trickled over the top.
This is a great dish to cook slowly over the coals on a low barbecue, but it still works well cooked in the oven – it just won’t have the smoky taste. The capers and cornichons are a perfect foil for the richness of the lamb breast.