Middle Eastern-style shepherd's pie with aubergines, courgettes and saffron yoghurt

Make a shepherd's pie with a difference with this impressive filo-wrapped version from The Hairy Bikers.


For the shepherd's pie
For the saffron yoghurt
For the aubergines and courgettes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 medium aubergines, cut lengthways into 1.5cm/0.5in-thick slices

  • 3 medium courgettes, cut lengthways into 1.5cm/0.5in-thick slices

Preparation method

  1. For the shepherd's pie, heat the oil in a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, ginger and potatoes and fry gently for 8-10 minutes.

  2. Increase the heat to high and add the lamb mince, spices and orange zest. Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring to break up the mince, until the lamb is browned all over.

  3. Sprinkle over the flour and stir in, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then stir in the honey, Worcestershire sauce and dried apricots. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 12-15 minutes, then remove from the heat set aside to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. When the filling has cooled, assemble the pie. To assemble, lightly brush a little melted butter around the inside of a round or rectangular baking tin, at least 4cm/1.5in deep.

  5. Unroll the filo pastry and, working quickly, brush one sheet all over with melted butter (keep the remaining sheets of filo covered with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying out). Lay the buttered sheet of filo in the tin, letting the sides of the pastry hang over the edge. Repeat with four or five more sheets, arranging them at different angles, until the base and sides of the tin are completely covered.

  6. Spoon the filling into the pastry then fold in the overhanging pastry edges to cover the filling. Brush a few more sheets of filo with melted butter and scrunch them up. Arrange them on top of the pie, to cover. Brush the scrunched up filo with any remaining butter and place the pie onto a baking tray. Transfer to the oven for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown and the filling is steaming.

  7. Meanwhile, for the saffron yoghurt, pour the saffron threads and soaking water into a mixing bowl then stir in all of the remaining saffron yoghurt ingredients, apart from the coriander. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside. Stir the coriander through just before serving.

  8. For the aubergines and courgettes, heat a large griddle pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, brush both sides of the vegetable slices with olive oil then arrange a batch in a single layer on the griddle pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until tender and marked with golden-brown griddle lines. Keep warm. Repeat the process until all of the vegetables are cooked.

  9. To serve, transfer the filo pie to a large serving platter, arrange the aubergines and courgettes around the edge and drizzle over the saffron yoghurt.

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