Briouat means "small letter" in Arabic and are little folded filo pastries filled with various kinds of meat for a savory dish or with ground nuts and honey for a baklava-like dessert. Last night I was casting about for something to make for dinner and remembered that I had ground lamb in the freezer, as well as a box of filo dough. A little googling found several recipes, which I then ruthlessly modified to suit the state of my pantry. None of the recipes called for raisins, but I thought they'd provide a nice tagine-like flavor.
I served these with some homemade harrisa, and a quick tzatziki, as well as a simple green salad. In theory there should have been enough for four people, and perhaps there would have been if we weren't so greedy. It was very hard to stop eating them.
makes about 12 - 15 filo triangles
1/2 pound lean ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins, plumped in hot water
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 small can diced tomato
salt and papper, to taste
Combine the lamb, onion, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, raisins (drained), pine nuts, mint and tomatoes in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, or until the moisture has completely evaporated and the lamb has cooked.Drain off and discard the fat, if needed.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cut 3 inch wide strips of filo. Brush 1 strip with melted butter and place another one on top. Brush with the butter and place a heaped teaspoon of filling at one end. Fold one corner over in a triangle, and then continue turning over the triangle to the end of the filo strip (just as in folding a flag). Trim any extra filo off with a knife. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately, warm or at room temperature.