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Lamb Kebab with Peas, Carrots and Onions, Wrapped In Puff Pastry – Talas Boregi

Talas borek; lamb chunks with vegetables, wrapped in puff pastry

Talas borek; lamb chunks with vegetables, wrapped in puff pastry

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!

Serves 4-6
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
60gr/2oz peas
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 a little of the meat mixture in the center of each square and fold over the edges to form a packet.

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.

Talas borek; lamb and vegetables wrapped in puff pastry; easy and delicious

Talas borek; lamb and vegetables wrapped in puff pastry; easy and delicious

Afiyet Olsun,


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5 Responses to Lamb Kebab with Peas, Carrots and Onions, Wrapped In Puff Pastry – Talas Boregi

  1. Phil in the Kitchen May 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    These look really good. I didn't expect puff pastry but I can imagine it's really good with the cooking liquid as a sauce. I've got to try this sometime…

  2. Ozlem's Turkish Table June 1, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Merhaba Phil,
    Thank you very much, they do taste good too. Puffy pastry is easier to manage than one thinks as long as you thaw it properly. We wouldn't serve the sauce with the pastry traditionally, but it is such a great idea, thanks to Ghillie Basan. Hope you give it a try sometime:)

  3. Yilmaz Gursoy August 8, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Puff pastry a French influence… I don’t think so. Turks and Balkan peoples are the masters of borek. And what is pork mince patties doing in a presumably Turkish cooking site??? Nobody touches – let alone eats – pork in Turkey. Are you guys real or fake???

    • Ozlem Warren August 10, 2013 at 3:48 am #

      Dear Yilmaz Gursoy, thank you for stopping by and your comment. There are various school of thoughts as to the origin of puff pastry.Puff pastry seems to be a relative of the Middle Eastern phyllo and is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. While traditionally ascribed to the French painter and cook Claude Gelée who lived in the 17th century (the story goes that Gelée was making a type of very buttery bread for his sick father, and the process of rolling the butter into the bread dough created a croissant-like finished product), references appear before the 17th century, indicating a history that came originally through Muslim Spain and was converted from thin sheets of dough spread with olive oil to laminated dough with layers of butter, perhaps in Italy or Germany. So you certainly have a point there and thank you for pointing this out. As to the filling; you must have read it wrong, as my filling asks for chunks of lamb, not ground pork. This is a very real blog and I am passionate about Turkish cuisine and always eager to learn more and share. I hope you can have a chance to have a good look to the site, and I hope it inspires. My best wishes, Selamlar, Ozlem


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