Recipe: Lamb and Caramelized Onion Pastry Squares
By far our best-selling food item, the lamb pastry squares are delicious and calorie-free! We lie. They are delicious but has a decent amount of protein, fat and yes, calories. You are worth it.
Lamb and Caramelized Onions Pastry Squares
50-55 count 1.5 squares from a 9x13 aluminum baking pan
For the filling
2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, cut into small dice
1 lbs. ground lamb
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp black pepper or to taste
2 tsp Aleppo pepper or to taste (use paprika instead if you want)
1.5 cups lightly packed, roughly chopped Italian parsley
For milk and egg mixture
2 large eggs
1.5 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sunflower oil – Canola or vegetable oil OK, but DO NOT USE OLIVE OIL
1 lbs. package phyllo dough, thawed per package instructions
Prepare the filling: Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat in a 4-quart pan for about 5 mins. Add the lamb. Using a spatula, break up the lamb so it doesn't cook in chunks.
Cook until ground lamb has no red/raw parts showing. Add the rest of the ingredients, except parsley. Cook for another 10 mins on low heat to meld flavors. Remove from heat. Add parsley. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400F (375 if using convection).
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk and the sunflower oil. Set aside.
Line the baking pan with parchment paper and grease it generously with oil, all over including the sides.
Unwrap the phyllo dough. Lay the sheets on a cutting board; cover with slightly moist, clean kitchen towel, (If you have some mad kitchen skills and you can work really quickly, then don’t worry about the kitchen towel business)
Using 1 pastry sheet per side, fold the sheet in half, creating flaps that hangs partially off the pan, for each of the four sides. Lay one full sheet at the bottom of pan.
Using a pastry brush, brush the parts of the sheets inside the pan with 2 oz of the milk and egg mixture. – DO NOT OVERWET.
Create another layer of dough in the pan using two sheets and moisten with 2 oz of milk and egg mixture. Repeat 2 more times.
Then add another layer with two sheets of dough and this time, top the sheets with the lamb mixture. Do not moisten.
Create 2 more layers of dough using two sheets per layer and moisten each layer with 2 oz of milk and egg mixture.
Add another layer, don’t moisten, and cover it with rest of the lamb mixture. Use up the reminder of the dough making layers of two sheets per layer and moistening each layer with the milk and egg mixture.
When you run out of sheets, turn the flaps from the side in to the dish and then pour the remaining milk and egg mixture on the pastry. Using a paring knife, make about a dozen small but deep incisions on the top of the pastry. This will allow juices to penetrate the lower levels.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, rotate the pan, and bake for another 20 minutes. During baking, the pastry may puff up in the process. It will deflate on its own once out of the oven. Don’t intervene.
Once out of the oven, let the pastry rest 10-20 minutes. It will deflate. Serve warm or refrigerate for later service.
If serving as squares in a banquet application, chill the slab whole overnight in the fridge, preferably with another baking sheet on top, and weights to press it down. Trim the edges tightly and then cut into 9 equal size stick on the long edge and turn and cut into 6 equal sizes on the short end. This will give you 54 pieces.