Middle Eastern Lamb Filo Hand Pies

Middle Eastern Lamb Filo Hand Pies

Whether we serve them as bite-sized canapés or larger plated pies, these crispy triangles are always a hit. The filling is slightly sweet, especially with the little pops of dried apricot, and the orange-scented yoghurt sauce helps to cut through the richness of the lamb.

Makes: 12 substantial pies
55 minutes

Filo hand pies
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g lamb mince
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
12 sheets filo pastry
60g butter, melted
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Salt & pepper

Orange yoghurt sauce
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 orange, zest & juice
Small handful mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt & pepper

Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add lamb, stirring it with a wooden spoon to break up the mince. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until well browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika and dried apricots. Cook for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Brush 1 sheet of filo pastry generously with butter and place another sheet directly on top. Cut in half. Add a tablespoon of mixture to one corner, fold it on a diagonal to cover the mixture, then continue folding the filo pastry in a triangle fashion until the filling is fully encased. Repeat with the second filo rectangle. Brush tops with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place pies seam-side down on a baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Bake pies for 15–20 minutes, until golden-brown and crispy.

To make the orange yoghurt, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hand pies with a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of orange yoghurt, plus extra for dipping.