Aromatic lamb, a hint of chili, cool mint and surprise sweetness
The strudel features a lot of warm, intense flavors from the lamb – red wine – cinnamon combination and a hint of spiciness from the chili. I also added bits of dried plum, so you’ll have a surprise sweetness from time to time, which is very exciting and gives the whole strudel a little kick. All of this is balanced with fresh tzatziki and mint, which adds a nice contrast as well. I love mediterranen food with all its aromatic herbs and meat combinations. This dish is somewhat Greek inspired and since I’ve had this recipe on my mind for quite a while now I’m glad I finally managed to try it out!
Regarding preparation: it is really important that you make the filling the day before and let it sit overnight for the flavor to develop. Trust me, it makes a huge (!) difference. If you don’t like lamb, you could also substitute it with ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork. In case you don’t have any dried plums, just use raisins. For the tzatziki, make sure you crush the mint properly (just like when making a mojito) in order to get the most flavor out of it.
For the strudel
1 sheet of puff pastry
400g lamb mince
250ml dry red wine
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 aubergine, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 can of tinned tomato
1 heaped tbsp dried oregano
1 spring of fresh rosemary, stalk removed, leaves chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tsp honey
2 handful dried plums, chopped
a knob of butter, melted
olive oil extra vergine
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1. Heat a pan with a lug of olive oil. Add the herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary), onion, garlic and chili and gently fry at low heat until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the lamb mince, turn up the heat and fry while adding honey, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
3. In a next step, add the chopped aubergine, zucchini and bell pepper and fry until they have softened. Subsequently, add the tinned tomatoes and let simmer until the juices have been absorbed.
4. Add the red wine and wait until the sauce has reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Make sure the filling is not too liquid (otherwise add more breadcrumbs to the filling in step 7 for them to absorb the liquids and to keep them in the strudel). Put a lid on top and leave to rest over night.
5. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge so it can warm up a bit. Heat the oven to 180°C.
6. Roll out the dough on a piece of baking paper and spread the lamb filling across the puff pastry, leaving about 2.5 cm / 1 inch on each side.
7. Next, distribute the plum bits and breadcrumbs evenly across the lamb filling.
8. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and roll the strudel in tightly. Place on a baking tray, gently brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
9. Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden.
10. In the meantime, prepare the tzaziki by mixing cucumber, greek yoghurt, olive oil, garlic, mint and salt (make sure you crush the mint before adding it to the tzatziki).
11. Once the strudel is ready, remove from the oven and serve with tzatziki and a green salad as a side dish.
Hope you enjoy this! 🙂