This is a traditional dish for Carnival and Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter that celebrates Christ’s rise into heaven).
- 2.5-lb. leg of lamb, cut into cubes
- 4.5 c. warm water (heated in a saucepan or microwave, not
- from the tap)
- 1 c. minced onions
- 1.5 c. chopped celery
- 1.5 c. minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. minced fresh mint or 0.5 tsp. dried mint
- 2 c. tomato sauce
- 0.5 c. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 0.5 tsp. pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. grated kefalotiri or Parmesan
- 1 tsp. ground
- 3.5 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 egg 2 to 3 tbsp. warm water (heated in a saucepan or microwave, not from the tap)
Method for filling:
- Place meat in a large covered casserole dish with warm water. Bring to a boil.
- Add onions, celery, parsley, garlic, mint, tomato sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour.
- While meat cooks, prepare crust.*
- While dough is chilling, remove meat mixture from heat.
- Beat 4 eggs lightly and add grated cheese and cinnamon. Mix well and add to meat mixture. Add rice to mixture.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Method for Crust:
- Put sifted flour, salt, and olive oil into a bowl and mix well with a fork. Add 1 egg and stir. Gradually stir in warm water until dough is well blended. Knead 5 minutes, or until dough is firm. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Divide chilled dough into two balls and roll each out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 -inch thickness. Make one piece to line a 15×11- inch baking pan with a lip to turn over the top. The other piece should fit the top of the pan.
- Grease pan with butter and olive oil. Line with larger piece of dough, then pour in meat mixture, spreading evenly. Cover with second crust, turning the lip of the lower crust over. Crimp the edges. Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Prick crust a few times with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Allow to sit for a few minutes then cut into squares.
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooking and refrigeration time: 2 hours 45 minutes
*The crust can be prepared in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients and process until mixture forms a ball.