Make Ahead

Spiced Lamb in Orange Scented Honey Phyllo

March 10, 2015
0 Ratings
  • Makes 12
Author Notes

I'm a huge fan of any sort of spiced, fruited meat dish- or "sweet meat" as my husband calls it. I often have ground lamb in the freezer, at the ready for a meatball, a bolognese or an african meatloaf dish I love that has a custard baked on top. But with honey on the brain, I immediately thought of the incredible Moroccan and Middle Eastern meals I have had with orange scented honey glazes, almonds in cinnamon and sugar and crispy, delicate phyllo.

I began by toasting and grinding some spices which were blended into the lamb with onions, garlic, ginger and tangerine peel. As I pondered the assembly and how to introduce the honey, I decided I wanted it to be layered inside the phyllo with the almonds, so you would get a hint of it with every bite. I hoped it might stay separate somehow but still all come together.

And boy, I was not disappointed. All those layers of crispy dough and honey butter formed a perfect shell of sweet without being overbearing. And the texture had just a slight bit of chew along with the crisp which transformed these simple lamb triangles into a true treat. The orange really comes through and is a perfect compliment to the lamb. Lamb candy! Next to the bisteeya (the only other recipe I tend to make with piles of phyllo) this is my favorite new combination. It is great as an appetizer, but would pair nicely with a salad for a full meal.

I certainly wish I had a better photo (it's sort of a cross between chicken wings and bad recipe photos from the magazines in the 70s), but the flavor is better even than I had hoped. —savorthis

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tangerines, zested, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Heat oven to 375º. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and toast almonds until golden. Set aside. Toast cinnamon, cumin, coriander and anise in the pan for a minute or two. Add aleppo and cook another 30 seconds or until fragrant (be careful as it can burn quickly). Add to spice grinder, cool and grind to a powder.
  2. Add 1 T oil to the pan and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until beginning to brown. Add garlic, 1 t tangerine zest, and ginger and cook another couple minutes. Remove to a bowl and add lamb to pan. Break up any clumps and cook until no longer pink. Drain off fat, season with 1/2 t salt. Add back onions, spice mixture and 2 T tangerine juice and cook a few more minutes until almost no liquid remains. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix honey, 2 T butter and 3 T tangerine juice. Heat in a saucepan or microwave for about 25-30 seconds to melt honey and mix well. Put two phyllo sheets on a cutting board. Brush with about 1/6 the honey butter mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of the almonds and a slight sprinkle of salt. Place two phyllo sheets on top and brush on another 1/6 of the honey butter. Cut phyllo with a pizza cutter or knife (perpendicular to the long side) in half and half again so you have 4, 3" strips.
  4. Place about 3 T of the lamb mixture at the bottom of a strip and carefully fold up one corner to form a triangle. Fold the triangle up, then over, then up as though folding a flag. Repeat with remaining three strips, then repeat with two more batches so you have 12 triangles. Brush lightly with one more coat of honey butter. Brush remaining 1 T oil on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until very golden.
  5. I loved these as is, but they would also be good with a spiced yoghurt dip- perhaps a mix of sriracha and sour cream/yoghurt or more aleppo pepper.

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  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • savorthis
Co-Owner/Designer @ Where Wood Meets Steel-Custom Furniture

2 Reviews

LeBec F. March 10, 2015
Nice job, st! Since you love fruit in your savories, have you wanted to live and eat Moroccan for a few years?!Right up your alley. Thx much for the inspiration!
savorthis March 10, 2015
Thanks! Yes, one of my favorite restaurants from childhood was Moroccan and it was so exotic and wonderful. Sitting on pillows, eating with our fingers, watching belly dancers. I have not made it to the real Morocco yet but it has long been on my list.