The spread of the Ottoman Empire into Europe resulted in influences from different cuisines. For instance, the use of puff pastry in this kebab reflects a French influence in the Ottoman and today’s Turkish cuisine.
These delicious pastry parcels are lovely served as an appetizer (the miniature versions would also make great finger food for dinner parties, like the little one made by my daughter :). You can also serve them as a main course with some steamed vegetables by the side. (I like Ghillie Basan’s way of serving the cooking liquid of as a sauce by the side too). The cucumber & yoghurt dip with mint, Cacik, would be also a great accompaniment.I hope you have a go at them sometime; they are easy to make, impressive and delicious!
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes
225gr/1/2lb lamb, cut into small cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely diced
10ml/2teaspoons tomato paste
15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil
5ml/1teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4fl oz/ 1/2 cup water
345gr/12oz puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are softened. Add the lamb and cook for further 3-4 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the carrots, peas and tomato paste, mix well. Season with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes. Pour in the water and give it a good mix. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid of the meat mixture to be used as a sauce later. Leave the meat mixture to cool.
If the puff pastry is frozen, please take out of the freezer 2 hours before using and bring it to the room temperature. If it is kept in the fridge, take out the puff pastry 20 minutes before using and remove its carton. Just before using, take off the outer plastic wrap and unroll the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry into a thin sheet of a rectangle. Cut out squares, about 13cmx13cm (4x4in).
Place the packets, seam-side down, in the baking tray. Brush the egg yolk over the pastries and bake them in the oven for about 35 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.
Warm up the reserved liquid of the meat mixture and serve as a sauce by the side of the kebabs in puff pastry. You can also serve them with steamed vegetables and some Cacik (yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip) as a main course.