Little beef and cinnamon turnovers

Little beef and cinnamon turnovers

Sanbuseh

By
From
Saraban
Makes
40
Photographer
Mark Roper

Stuffed pastries – both savoury and sweet – feature widely in all Middle Eastern cuisines. In Persia, they came into their own during the elaborate court cooking of the Safavid era, although the tradition is thought to date back several thousand years. Savoury pastries no longer seem to feature widely in Iranian cooking, but when they do pop up, they are known as sanbuseh – and the link to the Indian samosa and the sambusek of the Middle East is obvious on eating.

These little turnovers are my interpretation of a Safavid-style sanbuseh. I think a light dusting of icing sugar really brings out the underlying cinnamon-sweetness of the filling.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20 sheets filo pastry
100g clarified butter or ghee
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon–beef filling

Quantity Ingredient
30ml olive oil
30g unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
425g minced beef
2 tablespoons shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method

  1. To make the cinnamon–beef filling, heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until they begin to soften. Add the spices and salt and fry for 5 minutes, then mix in the minced beef, using a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Fry gently for 8 minutes, or until the beef is just cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool. When it is cold, stir in the parsley.
  2. To make the turnovers, work with 2 sheets of filo at a time and keep the others covered with a damp tea towel. Spread 1 sheet of filo out on the work surface and brush it lightly with clarified butter. Place the second sheet on top and cut lengthways into 4 long strips. Each strip will make a turnover. Brush each strip along its length with butter. Place a teaspoon of filling at one end and fold the corner over it to make a triangle. Continue to fold along the length of the strip of pastry so you end up with a neat, triangle-shaped parcel. Seal any open edges with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining filo sheets and filling until you have 40 turnovers. At this stage you can freeze the pastries if you like; otherwise, cook them straightaway.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Brush the turnovers lightly with a little more clarified butter and cook for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown
  4. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon together over the hot turnovers and serve immediately.
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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