Spiced lamb and apricot filo pie


Russell Brown's Moroccan-themed pie uses crisp filo pastry to encase a spiced lamb filling. The flavours of cumin, sumac and cinnamon, as well as the sweet apricots, are reminiscent of traditional tagines and Middle Eastern stews.

First published in 2015





Add a little olive oil to a large pan and fry the lamb mince in small batches until well coloured. Drain the mince in a sieve set over a bowl to remove any excess moisture
  • olive oil
  • 500g of lamb mince
In the same pan sweat off the onion and garlic until softened, then add the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato purée and continue to cook for a further minute
Return the mince to the pan, add the lamb stock and some seasoning, then simmer gently for 1½ hours, topping up with water if it starts to dry out too much. Add in the apricots and cook for a further 20 minutes, adjusting the seasoning to taste
Mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp cold water and add gradually to the lamb mixture, stirring well until it has thickened – the mixture should be thick and fairly dry
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp of water
In a separate pan, add a little olive oil, the spinach and some seasoning. Stir-fry quickly over a medium-high heat, then drain and allow to cool. Once cool, squeeze out any excess moisture
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
To assemble the pie, take one sheet of filo pastry and brush with melted butter, keeping the remaining pastry covered with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out. Use the sheet to line a 24cm non-stick frying pan or pie tin, then repeat with two more sheets, laying one sheet in and then the next rotating the sheets by a third of a turn as you layer them up
Add half the lamb mixture, then a layer of spinach, followed by the remaining lamb. Fold any excess pastry over the filling and cover the meat with the three remaining filo sheets, again brushing each with melted butter and rotating as you lay each new sheet on
Use a pair of scissors to trim the pastry so that it is 1cm bigger than the pan and then tuck the edges in using a palette knife
Transfer the pie to the preheated oven and bake for 20–30 minutes until the pastry is a rich golden brown on top. Serve the pie in slices, with a fresh salad, or Moroccan-inspired side if preferred
First published in 2015

Russell Brown has achieved Michelin stardom on his own terms, impressing inspectors with his honest, unfussy creations and sound approach to restaurant management.

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