Lamb and prune harees empanadas

Lamb and prune harees empanadas

Middle Eastern
30 mins Prep · 90 mins Cook

Harees is a warm, comforting dish with a porridge-like consistency that is usually prepared for special occasions and especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is made with wheat, meat (it could be lamb or chicken) and seasoned with spices such as cinnamon and black pepper. We’ve taken this classic and turned it into a hearty filling for flaky empanadas

Created by Spinneys
Prep time 30 minutes
Soaking time Overnight
Cook time 90 minutes
Serves 12
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Special Occasion Ramadan
Diet Other
Preparation Easy
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 135
Fat 5.5g
Saturates 2.1g
Protein 9.7g
Carbs 11.8g
Sugars 2.1g
Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details

Cooking Instructions

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Soak the wheat overnight in ample water, then drain. If using bulgur wheat, there’s no need to soak.


Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot or harees pot over a medium heat. Combine the wheat with the lamb, salt, to taste, and cinnamon stick. Add enough hot water to cover the mixture by approx. 5cm. Cover the pot with a damp cloth or aluminium foil, then tightly seal with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer on low for approx. 1 hour, stirring occasionally to skim off any froth or fat from the surface. Once the wheat is tender and most of the water is absorbed, remove from the heat and allow to cool. If needed, add 250ml of boiling water if all the water is absorbed, or ladle out excess water if there’s too much remaining once the wheat is cooked.


Using a fork, shred any large pieces of meat.


Transfer the harees mixture to a food processor. Blend until the mixture reaches a slightly elastic, paste-like consistency. Add salted boiling water to thin out the mixture, if necessary. Adjust the seasoning, if required. Set aside.


Finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic. Chop the prunes. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until softened, approx. 5 minutes. Add the prunes along with salt and pepper. Sauté for a further 5 minutes. Add the onion-prune mixture to the harees and stir to combine.


Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.


Roll out the puff pastry sheets. Using a round cutter, cut out circles. Spoon a generous amount of the harees filling onto one half of each pastry circle. Fold the pastry over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Seal the edges by pressing with a fork. Place the empanadas on the baking tray. Lightly beat the egg then brush the tops of the pastry with the egg wash for a golden finish.


Bake for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown and crispy.


Serve with fresh coriander and labneh on the side.