Easter Sunday saw W arrive in Canterbury armed with flowers, creme eggs and a rather large leg of lamb to feed four people. Consequently my living room looks so much more cheerful, I managed to satisfy my creme egg craving (though they are definitely not as good as they used to be), and we had a lot of leftover roast lamb to get through.
Whilst the stew and pie filling I made (gravy infused with about half a bottle of red wine and plenty of mint) was delicious, these lamb flatbreads absolutely stole the show. Based on my favourite lahmucun from teenage Turkish holidays, topped with yoghurt, mint and salad, these are spicy, soft, crunchy and so very fresh. The perfect way to use up leftover lamb in the summer!
The base is also pretty special; it’s my go-to pizza base recipe. Crisp base, good flavour from a slow rise, and the soft chewy texture that only the best pizzas have. The recipe is based on Rosie’s, but I’ve altered it slightly to my tastes (and laziness). The amounts make two filling lamb flatbreads – perfect with a salad as a dinner for the two of us.
As I was using leftover lamb, I whizzed up a sauce from a roasted red pepper, garlic, half an onion, plenty of chilli and a drizzle of honey, spiced up with cumin and a little cinnamon. I’ve made versions before with fresh lamb mince, where the mix is drier; simply onion and flavourings with the mince. I preferred the peppery version here, as I felt the sharpness cut through the rich lamb. I imagine it would be great scattered with a bit of feta too…
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 5g salt
- 5g yeast
- 170ml water
- 1 roasted red pepper, whizzed until smoothish
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp each of chilli and cumin
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1-2 good handfuls of leftover roast lamb, shredded
- Pine nuts, completely optional, I just had some floating around in my cupboards from making pesto!
- Small pot greek yoghurt
- Handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
- Crunchy salad, to serve
In the morning, start on your dough pop the flour, salt and yeast into a large bowl, and then pour in the water (it should be warm, but not hot). Stir with a knife until a rough ball forms, and then tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it all together. The dough will be sticky, so traditional kneading won’t work – I go with the throw and slap technique for a few minutes (James Morton explains it far better than me!). Once the dough is noticeably smoother, throw into a bowl, cover with cling-film and pop in the fridge.
Make the sauce whenever – fry the onion until soft, add the garlic and spices and fry for a minute, then stir in the red pepper paste and honey. Taste, season and leave to cool or use immediately.
About an hour before you want to eat, remove the dough from the fridge and whack the oven on to around 220C. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into two and shape into rough circles – Rosie suggests holding it, spinning it and letting gravity do the work. I agree – and it means one rolling pin less to wash up! Once stretched, heat a dry frying pan over a high heat, then pop the first bit of dough in. Turn the heat to medium and fry for 1-2 minutes, until crisp underneath and starting to brown. Flip and do the other side, then repeat with the leftover dough.
Top your part-cooked bases with the sauce, followed by the lamb and pine nuts. Bake for around 10 minutes, until the base is completely cooked and crunchy. Top with salad and drizzle with minted yoghurt.
I imagine these would be perfect made ahead then thrown in the oven for a summer BBQ type thing – something a bit different, but still easy peasy. And of course, the pizza base is just made for all sorts of toppings. My current favourite is a white sauce made with creme-fraiche and parmesan, topped with mushrooms, ham and plenty of mozzarella. Divine!
Are you a fan of pizza? What would you do with leftover lamb?