Lamb and Cheese Pastries

, from Issue #24. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Lamb and Cheese Pastries

This original sweet-savoury snack is perfect for weekend parties. Crispy outside and soft inside it's heavenly delicious. 


2 tablespoons olive oil
300 grams lamb mince
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 cup chopped coriander or flat-leaf parsley
1 free-range egg, beaten
100 grams ricotta or cottage cheese, well drained
50 grams gruyere or cheddar cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To assemble
filo pastry
melted butter
icing sugar
ground cinnamon


Filling: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the lamb over a high heat until nicely browned. Break the meat up with the back of a spoon so there are no large lumps. Add the spring onions, garlic, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, season well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Tip into a bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

To assemble: Working with one sheet of filo pastry at a time, place it on the bench and brush with melted butter. Fold in half and turn so the long side is towards you. Brush the edges with butter. Place a line of filling along the side closest to you, leaving a 2 cm border each end. Roll up to form a cigar, leaving the ends untucked. Gently squeeze the ends to form a ‘cracker’. Place on a lined baking tray and brush with butter. Repeat with the remaining filling and filo.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and very crisp. Arrange on a serving platter and dust with icing sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Makes 12