Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Small Lebanese lamb 'pizzas' with pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds

Here's a recipe for some small lamb 'pizzas' that were on the table during yet another housewarming/welcome party back in December, alongside (though not necessarily simultaneously) with salmon & cream cheese canapés, grilled beetroot & suluguni cheese canapés (basically a non-rye bread no-goat cheese version of my contribution to the (in)famous Cheese Sandwich Day; Suluguni cheese was left over from hatchapuri), puff pastry sausage rolls with sesame seeds, small puff pastry & mushroom tartlettes, Molly's chocolate & nut blocks and raspberry marshmallows, among other things. These were really interesting - the pomegranate molasses adds a certain sweetness and depthness to the topping, and pomegranate seeds really make the dish sparkle. And believe me - cinnamon is the perfect pairing to the minced lamb..

The recipe is from one of the books by Sam & Sam Clark - the restaurateur couple I met in Edinburgh last March. It's a second dish from them on my blog in about a month or so - I also tried their chicpea salad with pomegranate seeds and saffron recently. Considering that I've bookmarked many other recipes, then the Clarks are probably going to make an appearance again soon:)

Small lamb 'pizzas' with pomegranate molasses & seeds
(Väikesed lambalihapirukad)
Adapted from Sam & Sam Clark's Casa Moro (p. 42, Flatbread with lamb, pine nuts & pomegranates)
Yields ca 40 small 'pizzas'

(On the top left corner you can see small salmon canapés that I first served on my birthday back in April; on the top right, small puff pastry sausage rolls with sesame seeds; at the centre at the far back, a bowl of wasabi peas)

The dough:
a batch of your favourite pizza dough or some other yeasted bread dough, using about 300 ml of liquid (I used half of the dough for my tiny mushroom pies)

The topping:
500 grams of lean lamb meat, ground
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
50 ml water
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:
chopped fresh parsley
seeds from one large pomegranate

Prepare the yeast dough and let it rise according to your favourite recipe (or use half a batch of dough from here)

For the filling, grind the meat (I used the special food grinder attachment of the KitchenAid).
Heat the olive oil on a frying pan, add salt and onions and fry gently for about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, fry for another 3-4 minutes, until transluscent.
Add the minced lamb and cinnamon to the frying pan, increase the heat a little, and fry, stirring regularly, until the meat is browned.
Season with salt and pepper, add the pomegranate molasses and water and simmer, until water has evaporated. Remove from the heat.

When you are ready to start baking, then roll the dough thinly (ca 4 mm) on a slightly floured worktop. Cut out small circles ca 5-6 cm in diametre (I used a smallish drinking glass for that). Place them on a parchment-paper covered baking sheet.
Place a scant spoonful of lamb filling on each dough disc, pressing down gently. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Bake at 230C for 10 minutes or until they're cooked and golden on edges.
Transfer to a metal rack to cool, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and lots of chopped parsley to serve.


Anonymous said...

Those look super delicious Pille! I love the combination of lamb, cinnamon, and pine nuts :) And pomegranate molasses! That sounds heavenly but unfortunately out of my it readily available around Europe? I can have some of my relatives who live there send some over...heehee :)

Anonymous said...

The Greeks are good at putting cinnamon in their meat dishes. Yum.

I was just reading your New Year's Food Resolutions, and
1) When you make the panna cotta, look to Anne's New Year's menu for inspiration. Licorice Panna Cotta with raspberry gelé rocks. I used lakrisal in mine for the licorice taste, probably more salty that way.
2) somewhere in my recipes without a home file, I have a recipe for gnocchi that uses puréed fried yellow bell peppers to give them a yummy subtle taste. I'll pass it on when I fall over it.

Anonymous said...

great ingredients here

Anonymous said...

What a clever idea! Those sound delicious!

Anonymous said...

This is a MUST TRY recipe. It sounds wonderful.

Melting Wok said...

Hi Pille, that is a clever combination. I love lamb meat, ooh, I could easily gulp this mini lamb pizzas and you got a tad pomegranate flavor, how wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pille - belated happy new year :) I love making this bread, it's a nice twist and I think the flavours are lovely. I tend to make them in bigger sizes but I shall try your petit version next time, they look so sweet :)

Pille said...

Joey - I bought 100% pure Azerbaijani pomegranate juice from the market (no sugar added) and simply reduced it slowly in a saucepan until I was left with a thick pomegranate molasses:)

Jennie - have you seen the Greek/Turkish film "A Touch of Spice"? There's a lovely scene re: meat & cinnamon:) I'd love to have your gnocchi recipe! Re: liquorice panna cotta - nope. Liquorice is an acquired taste that I am yet to acquire, you see;) But thanks for the tip!

Paz - thank you!

Mo - great ingredients indeed. I usually buy my mince, but it was very satisfying to choose a beautiful cut of meat and then mince it yourself..

Brilynn - I'm in a 'mini' phase. I downsize eggs to quails' eggs, now pizzas to mini pizzas:)

Jeffrey - welcome to my blog and thanks for your kind words!

Melting wok - the sweet-sour pomegranate molasses really did wonders to the lamb:) Thanks for popping by!

Keiko - and I guess I should make them 'proper' size next time:)