Pas­try stuffed with spiced lamb with eggs

Serves 4-6

Living Etc - - ENTERTAINING ⁄ ETC -

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

1tsp all­spice

For the dough 500g plain flour

1tsp sea salt

100g but­ter, soft­ened 1 egg yolk

150ml but­ter­milk

4–6 eggs

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.

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