"This lamb comes from a borek recipe from my wife, Cath, who is a Middle Eastern food expert. It's easy to make, delicious and the pine nuts are a great addition. The spices and herbs are added last to keep things fresh." ~ Darren Purchese.
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp salt flakes
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 bird's eye chilli, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
50 ml (1 3/4 fl oz) light olive oil
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
1 Tbs tomato paste (concentrated purée)
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
50 g (1 3/4 oz/ 1/3 cup) pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp allspice
3 Tbs chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 Tbs chopped fresh flatleaf (Italian) parsley leaves
80 g (2 3/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
Toasting method: jaffle maker
Bread: 8 slices white sandwich loaf
Pro tips: Labneh is simple to make. It's so good rolled into balls, coated in chopped herbs or dukkah and used on a mezze plate. It is used here as a sort of dip, or spread, for the lamb jaffles.
Make the labneh a day ahead. Mix the yoghurt with the salt and pour it into a sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth) set over a plastic container. Leave to hang overnight to extract all of the whey. Transfer the thick labneh to a plastic container and store in the refrigerator until needed. Discard the whey.
In a large cast-iron or heavy-based saucepan, gently fry the onion, chilli and garlic in the oil for a few minutes over medium heat until translucent. Raise the heat to medium–high and add the lamb. Brown it off and mix with a wooden spoon until all the juices have evaporated. Just as the meat starts to catch on the bottom of the saucepan, add the tomato paste and fry for another minute or so. Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add the pine nuts, spices and herbs and mix well.
Preheat a jaffle maker. Butter one side of each of the slices of bread. Assemble your four sandwiches directly in the jaffle maker (two at a time if that is the size of your machine). Place the bread slices, butter side down, in the jaffle maker and add 3–4 heaped tablespoons of spicy lamb. Spread to just inside the edges of the bread. Top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up. Close the jaffle maker and cook until the sandwiches are golden brown and sealed. Serve with the labneh as a spread.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Chefs Eat Toasties Too by Darren Purchese published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: Photographer: ©Brendan Homan.