I combined a few different recipes and a bit of experimentation to make these spicy, fragrant and wonderfully crispy Moroccan beef filo parcels, or briouats, with a harissa tomato sauce.
I have never been to Morocco or had briouats, so this was a bit of a gamble! I get very specific cravings for food every now and then, and after looking through a few books I decided this was exactly what I fancied..with a few twists.
The recipes I looked at either rolled them into cigars or triangles, which of course you can do, but I decided to make larger rectangular parcels to make them more of a main meal. Ideally they should be served with a harissa yoghurt, but because I didn’t have any yoghurt (and my husband isn’t a huge fan) I thought I would throw together a harissa chilli tomato sauce to go with the briouats instead.
One final change; I think you are meant to deep fry or shallow fry them in quite a bit of oil, but I decided to fry them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to see what a lighter option would taste like. This method of cooking them worked really well and they get lovely and crispy, just make sure you keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
The result: absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making them again. My husband and I demolished three and I don’t think the final one will survive the night.
This recipe serves two very hungry people, but would stretch to four as a lighter meal. I only had cabbage, rocket and herbs in the fridge, so that was our salad!
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
- lean beef mince - 350g
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
- 1 green pepper - finely chopped
- couple handfuls spinach - (optional)
- 8 sheets filo pastry
- handful parsley - finely chopped
- handful coriander - finely chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 red chilli - finely chopped
- 4 tsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Put a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat for 30 seconds or so before adding the onion and pepper. Cook for around 5-10 minutes until the onion softens.
2. While the onions and peppers are cooking, make the tomato sauce. Put half the tin of tomatoes into a hand blender, Add 2 teaspoons of harissa paste, a pinch of coriander and the same amount of parsley. Blend it all up and add salt to taste. Put into a small saucepan ready to heat up later.
3. Add the beef, garlic ,chilli, the other half tin of chopped tomatoes, harissa paste and the spices. Cook for a few minutes until the meat has browned.
4. Throw in the spinach, then add a generous pinch of coriander and another of parsley. Stir it all together until the spinach wilts. You will need to add a good pinch of salt to taste. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and leave it to cool, probably for around 20 minutes.
5. Take two sheets of filo and lay them out. Spoon a quarter of the meat mixture into the middle of the filo and shape into a rectangle. Fold the shorter ends into the middle first, then fold over the other sides. Wrap the excess around underneath the parcel to even out the thickness of the filo. Repeat the same process for the other three briouats.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan. Lay the briouats in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping them over. Keep flipping them over every couple of minutes to make sure they don't burn. Try to make sure every bit of the surface touches the pan to brown, I used some tongs to hold them up on their sides for half a minute or so to brown the edges. While you cook them heat the tomato sauce up.
7. When they are lovely, golden and crispy, serve the briouats with the tomato sauce in a small dish or drizzed over the top. Sprinkle the remaining parsley and coriander over the top.