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April 17, 2024

American Lamb Borek


Recipe Provided By
Prep Time

20 MIN

Cook Time

50 MIN

Total Time

1HR, 10MIN



lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini


Lamb filling: 

● 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

● 1 small onion, diced 

● 2 garlic cloves, finely minced 

● 1 pound ground American lamb 

● 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

● 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 

● 1 teaspoon ground coriander 

● 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

● 1 teaspoon ground paprika 

● 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

● 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

● 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes 

● 2 tablespoons tomato puree 

● 1/4 cup water 

● 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried apricots 

● 1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios


● 1 egg 

● 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, plus more for serving 

● 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided 

● 12 sheets filo pastry 

● 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Cook the onions and garlic: 

Set a large skillet over medium high heat then add the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. 

2. Cook the lamb: 

Add the American lamb to the skillet and break it up into small pieces. Season with salt. Brown the lamb until nearly all the pink is gone, about 4 minutes. Add the spices and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add water, apricots and pistachios and cook for 2-3 minutes longer until reduced. 

3. Prepare the yogurt wash: 

In a small bowl whisk together the egg along with 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin it out slightly. It should be roughly the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside. 

4. Prepare the filo: 

Preheat your oven to 400*F. Generously butter a pie pan. 

On a clean counter open the filo dough and unroll it. Place a layer of filo on a clean and dry surface, the long side closest to you. Cover the remaining

dough with a lightly damp towel. Brush a light layer of the yogurt wash on the filo sheet then top with another layer of filo. Repeat this step until you have four layers of filo. 

5. Fill and shape: 

Brush the yogurt mixture onto the filo then add 1/3 of the room temperature lamb mixture along the bottom edge of the filo. Gently mound up the meat so that it is about 1-inch thick then gently roll up into a long log. Carefully place this around the inner edge of the pie pan. 

Repeat this process two more times making a total of three logs. To create a spiral shape in the pan, tuck the ends of one of the rolls into the other then continue to wrap them around until the pan is filled. 

6. Bake: 

Brush the pastry with the remaining melted butter and top with the sesame seeds. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is deeply golden. 

7. Cool and Serve: 

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving with more yogurt.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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