Shish Barak

 It was several years
ago as I was flipping the pages of Arabesque that I came across this
interesting recipe for a new style shish barak. Originally shish barak is
homemade dough filled with meat and plotted into a yogurt bath much like
Turkish manti. I became quite taken with the recipe and just had to make it.
This dish quickly became my husband’s favorite dish. Over the years I have tweaked it a bit and made
it work for me. I do not make it that often as anyone who has worked with fillo
knows that it’s a labor
of love but hey it’s Ramadan and he asked for it so I spent the evening frying,
stuffing, rolling and baking my golden little heart shaped pastries.
10 fillo
pastry sheets (unfreeze for a few hours before use and then lay a damp towel
over at all times or they will not be usable)
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon garlic, diced
1-1/2 teaspoons dried mint
1-1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped in food processor
Dash of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper to tasting
1/2 tablespoon allspice
1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add sunflower oil and
meat, cook thoroughly. Add onions, cinnamon, allspice, molasses, salt and
pepper allowing cooking for a few minutes. Make a well in the center add pine
nuts and toast until golden.
2. Cut each fillo sheet in half. Place the long end of the
sheet towards you. Place meat mixture towards bottom leaving enough room on all
sides to roll (meat in this should be like a cigar amount and shape).  Roll gently up, when finished coil into a
heart shape. Then place on a baking sheet.
4. Pre-heat oven to 400F. 
Brush tops with butter and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
5. In a medium sized mixing bowl add yogurt, olive oil,
garlic, and mint. Mix. Place on top of baked shish baraks or serve in an
individual serving dish.
Yields: 4 servings

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