Lamb Pastilla, Courgette and Curried Cauliflower

Lamb Pastilla, Courgette and Curried Cauliflower

Lamb Pastilla


I don’t know what many people would exactly call this lamb pastilla/pie/baklava/pasty, it doesn’t really matter. A pastilla is traditionally made with pigeon, but I don’t see why I can’t use anything else I like. It then sits alongside a tagine to offer a texture contrast. They are usually a little sweet and dusted with icing sugar, no idea why, hence I didn’t bother. It is essentially a lamb tagine wrapped up into filo pastry. Served alongside some delicious cumin cauliflower and pureed courgette.

Like all stews, the rule of thumb is the longer it cooks, the better it will taste. Perfect if you have a slow cooker, if not like me, just put in the oven at 100°C. If you cook it conventionally it’ll take 2.5 hours.


  • 1 Lamb Shoulder
  • 1, chopped Carrot
  • 1, chopped Onion
  • 1 Sliced Leek
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 100g dried Apricots
  • 50g Almonds
  • 50g chopped Mint
  • 50ml, keep 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Sheet/person Filo Pastry
  • 2 Leaves Gelatine
  • Courgette Puree

  • 2, chopped Courgettes
  • 50g, keep 25g Ghee/Butter
  • Cumin Cauliflower

  • 1, florets only Cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Oil


  1. Brown the meat in a large stockpot then set aside. Now brown the vegetables in the same pan, return the meat plus the stock, star anise and bay leaves. Top up with water. Put a lid on and transfer to a 180°C FAN oven for 2.5 hours. Or leave for 4 hours plus at 100°c, up to 8 hours.
  2. Once the meat is cooked, remove and fork it off the bone. Add the mint, apricots and almonds. Drain the cooking liquor and reduce until sticky. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 mins in cold water, then add to the warm reduced stock. Mix this with the forked meat, place in a square pyrex dish and push together to make a 1inch thick square/rectangle. Put in fridge for it to cool and set. Then cut into 4in/10cm long x 1 inch/3cm wide pieces. Mix the ghee(melted) and oil that are set aside use this to moisten a sheet of filo. Place the meat inside and wrap up like a parcel. Again spread with some of the oil/butter mix. Repeat until all the mix is used up.
  3. Add 25g ghee and the courgettes to a pan and season. Cook until very soft. Puree. You can add some cream/parmesan if you like.
  4. For the cauliflower, add the turmeric to the oil and then the cauliflower. Cook for eight minutes stirring continually so they don't burn. After 6 minutes add the cumin seeds and garlic. Season with some salt.
  5. To cook the pies. Heat oven to 180°C Fan, place the pastillas on a baking tray and cook for 15-18minutes.


  1. Looks delicious. I’m not wild about the icing sugar on pastilla, either, so big thumbs-up from me.

  2. It’s beautiful! Of course, your presentation is always stunning! Love all of the flavors.

  3. The “pasty” portion reminds me of the goat “hand pies” we used to eat in the Caribbean when I was a kid. Your version is far more refined and well-suited to my grown up life. GREG

    • Dave Crichton

      Thanks Greg, goat hand pies. Now they sound great, my greatest memory of the Caribbean are flying fish sandwiches from Barbados.

  4. I can’t resist! Not just this recipe – ALL your recipes. Eye-candy and so enticing as to make my tummy rumble in a deeply unfeminine way. And I think you are a Pilot so I have to follow … my brother, you see is a Captain with Gulf Air. Bon continuation à vous!

  5. this looks epic. pastilla is my favorite Moroccan dish. your presentation is solid!

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