Lamb burekas

Serves 4-6 Starters and mains

Lamb Burekas Croppedweb


For the ragout

  • 2 carrots
  • 1⁄4 celeriac bulb
  • 2 onions
  • 1 aci sivri or cayenne pepper
  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 750ml white wine
  • 1⁄2tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1 sage sprig
  • 500ml chicken broth (see recipe below)
  • 640g frozen puff pastry (chilled and thawed slowly)
  • 1 egg

For the sauce

  • 6 spring onions
  • 800ml chicken broth (see recipe below)
  • 125ml vermouth
  • 8 star anise
  • 160g butter

For the chicken broth

  • 2 large onions
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 1⁄2 celeriac
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 2 parsley roots
  • 2 chicken legs or 750g chicken bones

You will need

  • sealable storage jars, 3-litre capacity in total


Preheat the oven to 210C/425F/ Gas 7. For the ragout, peel the carrots, celeriac and onions and cut into 5mm dice. Deseed the aci sivri pepper and finely dice. Heat 2tbsp of olive oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onions, carrots and celeriac and sauté until they get a little colour. Remove from the casserole and set aside.

Cut the lamb into 5mm pieces (nearly as small as minced meat). Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in the casserole and sear a small amount of meat in it. (Keep the lamb in one layer and turn only when properly browned.)

Remove the meat from the casserole and set aside. Brown the remaining lamb in the same way, adding 1tbsp of oil each time. Return all of the meat, with any juices, to the casserole, then add the white wine to deglaze the pot. Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the casserole. Return the sautéed vegetables to the casserole and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir well and braise, covered, for 3 hours in the oven.

Remove the ragout from the oven and keep warm on the hob over a low heat. Reduce the oven temperature to 190C/375F/ Gas 5. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 10cm squares and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Beat the egg with 50ml of water and brush the dough with it. Bake the pastry in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

To make the sauce, trim away the dark green ends from the spring onions and cut into short lengths. Bring the broth, vermouth, star anise and spring onions to the boil in a wide saucepan and cook until reduced to a third of the volume. Dice the butter, add to
the pan and stir the sauce until it binds and takes on a lovely sheen.

To serve, carefully cut open the puff pastry squares. Arrange the ragout on the bottom of the pastry squares and cover with the lids. Drizzle several spoonfuls of sauce around the puff pastry and serve.

For the Chicken Broth

Makes around 3 litres

Peel vegetables as needed and cut into 1cm dice. Cut the chicken legs along the bone and pull the meat apart slightly. Place everything in a large saucepan along with 4 litres of water, bring to the boil and simmer for around 1 hour over a medium heat.

Strain into large jars while warm, then seal tightly. The broth will keep, chilled, for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

Recipe and photography from Tel Aviv: Food. People. Stories. A Culinary Journey with Neni by Haya Molcho and Elihay Biran (Murdoch Books). Photography by Nuriel Molcho.
Lamb Burekas Croppedweb
Recipe and photography from Tel Aviv: Food. People. Stories. A Culinary Journey with Neni by Haya Molcho and Elihay Biran (Murdoch Books). Photography by Nuriel Molcho.


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