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Little Lamb Pastries

Photo: Brain Woodcock; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 1 hr, 5 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: 2 pastries)

The filling is based on picadillo, a Latin dish of ground meat with flavorings that vary by region. This version, with sweet raisins and salty olives, is Cuban-influenced. You can freeze unbaked pastries up to a month ahead; bake from frozen for a few minutes longer.


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces lean ground lamb
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce small pimiento-stuffed olives, finely chopped (about 14)
  • 16 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 110
  • fat 4.5 g
  • satfat 1.2 g
  • monofat 2.2 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 5 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 12 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 197 mg
  • calcium 21 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add lamb to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain lamb, if necessary; transfer to a cutting board. Finely chop lamb. Wipe pan with a paper towel, and heat over medium-high heat. Add lamb, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup water, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat; stir in raisins, vinegar, and olives.

  2. Preheat oven to 400°.

  3. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to keep from drying); coat phyllo with cooking spray. Arrange another phyllo sheet over coated phyllo sheet; coat with cooking spray. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 3 (3-inch-wide) strips. Spoon about 1 scant tablespoon lamb mixture onto 1 end of each strip. Fold 1 corner of phyllo dough over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding firmly back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat folding procedure with remaining two strips. Place triangles, seam sides down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; cover to prevent drying. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and lamb mixture. Lightly brush triangles with canola oil. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve pastries warm or at room temperature.