Recipe for pastry stuffed with spiced lamb with eggs

To say that we were impressed by the new cookbook Baladi by Joudie Kalla is a massive understatement. Virtually every recipe had us cooing with delight so if you’re a fan of Palestinian food and drink, you must get your mitts on this book. Here’s a recipe extract to whet your appetite… the perfect weekend brunch – make it this weekend and give yourself happy tum!

This is called Khubez bil awermah wa baydAwermah is a preserved meat that is cooked low and slow with liyeh, a fat from fat-tailed lambs. You can, however, use any type of lamb fat you can find, as it is not possible to find liyeh easily outside of the Middle East. You could also use duck fat, as this works beautifully too. Awermah is slightly seasoned and used in many dishes, such as hummus bil awermah, bayd ma’ awermah, and stuffed into breads. This batch is relatively small, but you can double it up if you like.

Serves 4–6

You will need:

1 sterilized 500ml jar

For the awermah

360ml water

1kg fat from lamb meat,

roughly chopped (or use

duck fat)

2½ tsp rock salt

500g lean lamb meat,

chopped into 1cm pieces

1 tsp allspice

For the dough

500g plain flour

1 tsp sea salt

100g butter, softened

1 egg yolk

150ml buttermilk

200ml water

4–6 eggs

sumac, to sprinkle

fresh coriander leaves, to sprinkle

 

For the awermah, pour the water into a heavy-based pan, then add the fat. Adding the water will prevent the fat from sticking to the bottom of the pan while melting. Add the salt and cook the lamb fat over a medium heat until it melts, then add the meat and allspice and cook for about 1 hour, until it has all cooked through thoroughly. Leave to cool completely, place in a sterilized jar and keep in the fridge for up to one month.

While the lamb is cooking, make the dough. This quantity is enough for quite a few of these, but you don’t have to use it all; you can reserve some for the freezer and use at another time. Rub the flour, salt and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, buttermilk and water and combine. Knead until you have a slightly smooth dough, then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge until needed.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC Fan (190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5). Divide the dough into four to six pieces and press out into circles, making them quite thin (about the thickness of a 50p piece) and around 15cm in diameter. Add some of the meat mixture in a line going all the way around the edge, and fold the dough over; you can either press with a fork or make a curved pattern as I have done.

Transfer to a floured baking tray, place in the oven and cook for about 7–8 minutes then take them out. Break an egg into the centre of each one, then return to the oven for a further 3–4 minutes to cook the egg through. I like my eggs slightly runny, but you can cook them for a little longer, if desired. Sprinkle with a little sumac and coriander, and serve straight away.

Extracted from Baladi by Joudie Kalla (published by Jacqui Small). Photos by Jamie Orlando Smith