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Lamb Arayes Pita Pockets

Lamb Arayes Pita Pockets

Lamb Arayes Pita Pockets


4 yellow onions, divided

Olive oil

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh cilantro

3 pounds ground lamb

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon salt 

1 tablespoon paprika 

1 tablespoon harissa

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon black pepper

10 pita pockets


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

2. Peel and dice 2 of the onions; peel and quarter the remaining onions.

3. In a large pan, sauté the diced onions in a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

4. In a blender or food processor, combine the quartered onions with the cilantro and parsley. Pulse until the pieces are very finely chopped but not liquidy. If the mixture is too liquidy, strain the liquid out with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel.

5. In a large bowl, combine the cooled and sautéed onions with the blended herb mixture, ground lamb, Dijon mustard, salt, paprika, harissa, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine.

6. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat with a bit more olive oil. When the oil is hot, form a bit of the lamb mixture into a mini patty and sear it until cooked through. (You can skip this step if you’re confident in your seasoning amounts.) Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the cooked patty, then adjust the seasonings in the ground lamb mixture to your liking if needed.

7. Cut the pita pockets into quarter-moons, then gently stuff them with the lamb mixture, dividing it evenly among each piece of pita. I like to brush the pitas with a bit more olive oil once they’re stuffed rather than drizzling the pan with oil to cook them.

8. Return the grill pan to medium-high heat, then add the stuffed pitas to the pan, working in batches if needed. Arrange them with 1 raw meat side touching the hot pan and seat until browned. Turn them to sear on the other raw meat side until browned, then sear both pita sides until golden.

9. Once all the stuffed pitas are seared on all sides, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Bake until the lamb is cooked through, 8–10 minutes more. Serve and enjoy!

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