Greek-style lamb, spinach and feta pie
- September 2018
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 1 hour 25 min, plus cooling
There are times when it’s a joy to lavish a bit of extra love and care on a recipe.
Here’s our take on spanakopita – the classic spinach and feta filo pastry pie – with the addition of tender roast lamb, which mingles perfectly with the lightly spiced filling to provide a richly satisfying treat.
- 44.5g (21g saturated)
- 62.4g (5.6g sugars)
- 500g lamb neck fillet
- 1 large red onion, roughly sliced
- 3 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 500g cooked basmati rice (or, as a timesaver, use 2 x 250g packs Tilda ready-cooked basmati rice pouches)
- 500g spinach
- Bunch spring onions, chopped
- 20g fresh dill, chopped, plus extra to serve
- Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 200g feta, crumbled
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon, juice ½
- 3cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 7 filo pastry sheets (we used Jus-Rol)
- 100g butter, melted
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds to sprinkle
You’ll also need…
- Baking dish in which the lamb fits snugly
- 23cm ovenproof frying pan, brushed liberally with butter
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the lamb neck fillet in the baking dish with the red onion and garlic, season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, chop the lamb into rough 2cm chunks and put in a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop the cooled onion, then add it to the lamb, along with the chopped garlic and cooked rice.
- Wilt the spinach in its bag in the microwave on high for a few minutes (or wilt spinach in batches in a large pan – add a few drops of water, cover and put over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes). Tip into a colander, then use a wooden spoon to press out as much liquid as possible from the spinach. Put the drained spinach in a clean J-cloth or tea towel, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Roughly chop the spinach, then add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the filo, butter and sesame seeds) to the bowl and mix until well combined.
- Unroll the filo pastry on a clean work surface and brush one sheet at
a time with the melted butter (keep the remaining pastry covered with
cling film or a slightly damp tea towel). Layer 5 sheets in the base of the buttered ovenproof frying pan, allowing the sheets to overhang the edge of the pan, giving the pan a quarter-turn as you work so the sheets overlap slightly. Push each new sheet into the sides of the pan. Reserve the remaining 2 sheets of filo for the top.
- Spoon in the lamb/rice/spinach mixture, then fold the edges of the pastry into the middle to encase the filling. Brush the remaining 2 filo sheets with butter, scrunch them up and lay on top of the pie to cover any gaps. Brush over any remaining melted butter and scatter over the sesame seeds.
- Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then scatter over the extra chopped herbs and serve.
Look out for spinach sold in microwaveable packs. Pierce the top of the bag, then microwave according to the pack instructions – it saves washing up another pan.
We love the rich, meaty addition of roast lamb but you could omit it and add another pack of crumbled feta and some roasted red peppers to make the pie vegetarian.
Complete the pie up to 2 days ahead, then leave to cool, wrap well in cling film or put in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Reheat in a hot oven to serve.
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