This is a sponsored post to help promote the European #LambTryItLoveIt campaign to highlight the benefits of cooking with European lamb. For more recipe inspiration, follow @TryLamb on Facebook and Instagram. All opinions, photos and the recipe itself are my own.
Autumn is peak lamb season as meat is at its best right now, although of course you can make this recipe any time of the year. If you follow my blog you know that I’ve been working in support of the European lamb campaign and today’s recipe is my final one in the series! I previously made Slow cooked pulled lamb with dips & pomegranate seeds and Warm potato salad with lamb chops, grilled carrots and broad beans & a honey – mustard dressing but today I’m going for a lovely Autumn pie.
Instead of using puff pastry or shortcrust pastry I’m using filo pastry which is very common in Greek, Middle Eastern and Balkan cooking. Unlike puff orshortcrust pastry, filo is very thin & light which creates a really crispy pie when layered.
For the filling I’m keeping it simple with fresh local lamb shoulder chops, some feta cheese and spinach, a match made in heaven. To add a bit of bite and crunchiness I’m also adding pistachio nuts, which will add loads of flavour along with some local chestnut mushrooms (Optional).
This lamb pie is perfect for a really nice lunch or weekend dinner. Once the lamb is cooked it doesn’t take too long to make and it’s simply delicious!
Lamb filo pie with feta cheese, spinach, chestnut mushrooms and pistachio nuts
- 800g boneless lamb shoulder chops
- 200g spinach
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 3 cloves of garlic (peeled but not crushed)
- 1 red onion, sliced into thick chunks
- 2 tablespoons of marjoram
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 tablespoons of honey
- 200g pistachio nuts, deshelled (about 300g with shells)
- 400g feta cheese
- 7 sheets of filo pastry (270g), defrosted at room temperature
- 110g butter
- Few twigs of fresh basil
Preheat your oven to 180 °C Fan.
Season the lamb with marjoram, pepper and a small bit of salt.
Add some butter to the pan and once hot fry the lamb at a high heat for 3 minutes on each side. The goal is to sear them on the outside but not cook them all the way through just yet.
Transfer the lamb to an oven dish, add the whole peeled cloves of garlic and red onion.
Cook the lamb for 10 minutes in the oven while we prepare the other ingredients.
Put the feta cheese, nuts and spinach in a food processor and blend into a paste. Stir in the honey and place in a fridge to chill.
Wash and slice the mushrooms. Cook them in a frying pan in some butter for 5 minutes until soft and shiny. Let them cool completely.
Once the lamb is cooked, take the garlic and onion and set aside to cool down. Slice the lamb into small bite size pieces and let it cool down completely, too.
Blend the onion and garlic once it's cooled down and stir it into the feta mixture. Spoon in the mushrooms and the lamb.
Melt 110g of butter at low heat - let it cool down but not completely.
Take the filo pastry out of the packaging and place a damp towel over the sheets.
Take out one layer of filo and brush melted butter on top.
Line your pie tin with parchment paper. Place your first layer of filo pastry onto it, making sure the edges fold over the pie tin. Repeat with all the other layers, brushing them with butter each time. Because the pastry is usually rectangular, I recommend you place each layer rotated a little bit compared to the one before so that we'll be able to cover the top with the ‘overhang’. Keep two layers separate.
Once the other 5 layers have been added, scoop in the pie filling. Place the last two layers on top (brushing each one with butter, of course), fold them a little bit so that the pie has a wavy top. Brush the top with butter and fold over the edges from the bottom layers that we left hanging over the edge of our baking tin.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown
Serve with a salad of your choice and fresh basil, I went for mixed leaf with some pickled radishes.