is an Australian chef with two restaurants in Melbourne who grew up in a large Maltese family surrounded by food. In the Spice Journey, Shane takes us on his culinary pilgrimage back to Malta then across the sea to Lebanon to the food and the land that has inspired him. His passion and love for the people, the culture and the food is palpable.
Try them with a dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of lemon and you won’t be disappointed!
These are really good!
slightly adapted from A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent
Make 20 pies
Basic Lebanese Yeast Dough (find the recipe here)
Divide the risen dough into 20 balls and cover with a clean tea towel while you prepare the filling.
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 1/4 pounds (560g) beef mince
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup full fat yogurt
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted and kept warm
plain yogurt and lemon for serving
Fry the pine nuts in the butter until deep golden brown about 3-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and the garlic and cook until just translucent. Add the mince and break up with a wooden small. Cook, stirring and breaking up the mince until browned.
Add the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside until just warm – about 20 minutes.
Stir in the pine nuts and yogurt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Prepare two baking pans by coating with olive oil or lining with baking paper. Heat the oven to 450F/ 230C Take a ball of dough, dust the work surface with flour and pat the dough into a 3-4 inch circle then roll into a 5-6 inch oval.
Mound a scant 1/4 of filling onto the oval, spreading the filling out so that is come to about 1/2 inch from the ends and 1 inch from the sides. Bring up the sides of the dough and pinch in the middle then pinch the edges together from the middle to the back like you can see below.
Take the flap closest to you and bring it up and seal the edges to form a upside down Y.
Continue with the remaining dough and filling arranging the pies on your prepared trays. When all you pies are ready check to see that all the seams are still closed and pinch those that have opened.
Bake for about 20 minutes. When ready remove from the oven and brush with melted butter several times.