This recipe is an effort to balance what is my seemingly never ending sweet tooth with something savoury. Readers of my blog will assume that due to the number of sweets that I make, that I have an achingly sweet tooth. Not so, really. I don't eat sweets that often unless they are exceptional (Zumbo, Laduree or Herme) but my natural instinct is to go for savoury. Cakes and sweets are awfully pretty to look at and if you've read my About page, you'll see that I think that they belong in an Art Gallery (true, look at Zumbo's creations). But savoury is what I crave.
I have a deep seeded fear of deep frying. I burnt my arm badly when I was cooking as a teenager and ever since then I've been afraid of it. But things such a Briouats are wonderful because they allow you to have the buttery crispness of deep frying whilst cooking them in the oven. I shall investigate a similar way to do Spring rolls in the same manner although I am not a big Spring Roll fan.
I based these on the delicious Etli Borek pastries that we tried from Ottoman Cuisine at the Taste of Sydney event. The reason why I remember the name so clearly is that the man behind the counter made us all recite the name after him, thereby drumming it into our memories. Sure he was a bit odd, firstly telling us that it was snake but the trick worked. They are earth shatteringly crisp and buttery and serving them scattered with Pomegranate seeds, minted yogurt and sweet chili sauce is ideal. "Ras El Hanout" roughly translated to "Top of the Shop" whereby a spice store would do their own blend of the best spices. No two shops' Ras El Hanout is exactly the same and I used Herbies Ras El Hanout which was gifted to us at the Allrecipes dinner, which contains a Moroccan blend of 23 spices including saffron. I upped the quantity to what was recommended as I felt it really enhanced the flavour and was over the moon with the flavour. I made these on a rainy night when the sky was dark even at 3pm and by the time I got these on the table 45 minutes after starting, it was pitch dark outside so I hope you'll forgive the photography.
Beef & Olive Briouats with Pomegranate & Minted Yoghurt
An original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
1/2 brown onions finely diced
1 tablespoon oil
400grams beef or lamb mince
3 tablespoons chopped black olives
3 teaspoons Ras El Hanout
salt and pepper
12 sheets of fresh filo pastry
100 grams butter
Seeds from 1/4 Pomegranate
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
Sweet chili sauce
Step 1 - Fry onions in oil on medium heat until softened. Add olives, mince and Ras El Hanout. Cook until meat is cooked through and browned. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Step 2 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Cover filo sheets with a damp tea towel. Place baking parchment on two baking sheets.Taking on sheet, brush gently and lightly with butter all over and then place 2 tablespoons of beef on the diagonal at one end. Fold up sides and roll-it doesn't have to be incredibly precise as long as it's fairly even (and even so it's not that crucial). Place on lined baking sheet and brush with butter.
Step 3 - Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Slice in half diagonally and serve on a platter scattered with Pomegranate seeds and minted yogurt and sweet chili sauce.