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Lamb Briouats

Lamb Briouats

Download the recipe PDF. View the Lamb Briouats video Video coming soon.

Makes about a dozen.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a World Kitchen recipe.

Nothing should taste this good. The lamb is so heavily spiced, and then harissa (see Harissa) is also added, you would think this food would be too spicy to enjoy. The flavor, however, is surprisingly delicious. The difficulty is in finding, or grinding, the herbs and spices to make your own harissa.


1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
1 small onion; finely chopped
1 pound (450g) lean lamb; finely chopped or ground
2 garlic cloves; minced or crushed with a garlic press
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch of saffron threads (10 to 12); soaked in 2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon harissa (see recipe on this web site)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) (dried leaves are okay)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (dried leaves are okay)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 package (1 lb/454g) phyllo pastry sheets; thawed (you won’t use the entire package)
½ cup (226g) butter or clarified butter; melted
Sesame seeds for garnish


Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb and garlic. Sauté only until the lamb is lightly cooked, about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula as it cooks. Add the spices, herbs, and harissa. Cook an additional minute. Adjust for salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside. (If there is a lot of fat in the lamb, tilt the pan a little and push the meat mixture to the higher side, letting the fat drain. Spoon up the fat and discard.) Beat the egg well and add to the meat mixture while still warm. Stir thoroughly and set aside.

The phyllo sheets will likely be rectangles. Brush the surface of one sheet with a little melted butter and then fold over part of the rectangle to form a square. Brush the folded over section with butter. Place a second sheet on top, turning 90° to cross the grain, and line up one edge. Again brush with butter and fold in the extra to form a square. Spoon a few tablespoons of the lamb mixture onto the sheet with the mixture near a corner and start rolling the dough over the lamb, rolling it a little tightly. When about a third is rolled, fold in the two sides to enclose the ends and keep rolling to the final corner. Place on a greased baking sheet with the final corner down. Continue with the remaining sheets and lamb until all are assembled.

Heat your oven to 425°F (220°C) with a rack in the upper part of the oven. Brush the surface of the briouats with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

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