Lamb Pocket Pies

I am sharing with you today a fun recipe for appetizers that I have been making since March 2007. It evolved through the years of course but it remained cute, delicious, flavorful and a huge hit with all our guests. 9 years of continuous success: It’s a keeper!
The lamb pocket pies are flaky and crunchy. The cumin, coriander and mint aromas are balanced by the pine nuts and raisins. You can serve it next to a yogurt dip with fresh mint leaves.
The best part is that you can make them in advance and freeze them until ready to use. You can even prepare big batches and keep them safe and ready for an impromptu dinner party or a handy appetizer shortcut…


Lamb Pocket Pies with Minted Yogurt

recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
makes 40 triangular pocket pies (approx.)

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon thinly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
⅓ cup pine nuts
1 lb (450 g) ground lamb
⅓ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint
45 filo dough sheets
Vegetable oil

Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need one small bowl, food safe plastic wrap, a medium frying pan, two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, one food safe brush, a small cup with water and some paper towels.

In a small bowl mix the yogurt with the chopped fresh mint leaves, one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Taste and correct seasoning. Cover with food safe plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook mixing often until the onions are very lightly golden. Add the garlic, ground spices and pine nuts and mix for just one minute to awaken the spices. Add the ground lamb, season with salt and pepper and let it cook through. Mix from time to time. Add the raisins, cilantro and dried mint. Mix again. Taste and correct seasoning.
Remove from the heat.

Heat the oven to 350F (180C).

Place the filo dough sheets on a working surface. Cut each big sheet in 3 equal parts. You will end up with narrow and long rectangular filo dough “strips”. Take 3 strips and place them on top of each other. Cover the rest of the filo dough with humidified paper towel to avoid it from drying out while you are working on your appetizers.
Place 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture on one end of the filo dough strip leaving half an inch empty so you can lift the edge and start forming the triangular appetizer. Fold the dough around the mixture into a triangular shape and work towards the other end of the strip, folding the dough on itself to make a triangle.
Brush the end of the strip with a little bit of water to seal the pocket pie.
Place on the prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment paper).
Repeat with the remaining meat mixture.

Lightly brush with vegetable oil, each prepared triangle and bake for 12 minutes approximately until golden.
Serve warm with the minted yorgut as a dip.
Bon appétit!

*Filo dough is very delicate and can dry out easily. You can help prevent this problem by covering the dough with humidified paper towels…

recipe adapted from Légers et Savoureux. Marabout Côté Cuisine.