Shish barak

By Suzanne Hussenini
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You've probably had tortillini before, but have you had shish barak? This delicious Middle Eastern comfort dish from Chef Suzanne Hussenini is a must.

SERVES
2
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

Meat filling

  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300 grams lean minced lamb
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dry mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Wonton wrappers, at least 40 or home-made dough

Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cup lukewarm water

Yogurt sauce

  • 5 cups full fat yoghurt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 handfuls Swiss chard, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Taklia

  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter

Directions

Meat filling

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions until soft.  Add the meat and brown all over. Season with the allspice, cinnamon, dry mint, salt and pepper. 
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts. Set aside while you prepare the dough or the wonton wrappers.

Dough

  1. In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add the liquids and mix in to forma dough. Knead a couple of minutes until soft and pliable.
  2. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Use half the dough first; roll out as thin as possible and use a cookie cutter to make seven centimetre rounds.

Shish barak

  1. Place approximately ½ teaspoon of the meat filling in the middle of each round of dough.  Fold over into a crescent, bring the two ends together and pinch to seal.  It will look like a tortellini.  Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven to dry and harden slightly, for approximately five minutes.
  2. Remove and set aside until ready to cook in the yoghurt sauce. Extras can be frozen at this stage for future use.
  3. Separate each one and place flat on your surface. Place the filling to one side. Brush water on one corner and fold over to seal completely. Repeat to fill as many as you can (it depends on the size of the wonton wrapper: I use square ones, 10x10 cm).  Place in the preheated oven to dry them slightly. Cool completely.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sautée the garlic and onions until soft. Add the swiss chard, salt and pepper an chicken stock. Leave to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  5. In a large pot, on medium heat, pour the yoghurt and whisk to make it creamy. With a wooden spoon, stir continuously. Mix in the cornstarch paste and continue until the yoghurt thickens and is stabilized. Add in the cooked swiss chard with its liquid. Place the filled dough into the sauce. Bring up to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for approximately five minutes until they ae cooked through.

  6. Just before serving, in a small skillet heat the clarified butter and sautée the garlic slightly without browning for one minute. Add the coriander and sautée for one more minute. Pour this taklia over the yoghurt. Carefully place the pasta on a serving platter. Spoon the yogurt sauce on top and garnish with pine nut. Serve hot.

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