Pastry stuffed with spiced lamb with eggs
For the awermah
1kg fat from lamb meat, roughly chopped (or use duck fat) 2½tsp rock salt
500g lean lamb meat, chopped into 1cm pieces
For the dough 500g plain flour
1tsp sea salt
100g butter, softened 1 egg yolk
Sumac, to sprinkle Coriander leaves, to sprinkle
For the awermah, pour 360ml 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 thoroughly. Leave to cool, then place in a 500ml sterilised 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. Rub the flour, salt and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, buttermilk and 200ml water and combine. Knead until you have a slightly smooth dough, then wrap in cling film and place in the fridge until needed.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Divide the dough into four to six pieces and press 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 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. Sprinkle with a little sumac and coriander and serve straight away. COOK’S NOTE: Awermah 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, 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.