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This August, Matthew and I worked on converting a couple of my old comfort foods, as part of my AIP for hard times strategy. In the SAD-old days I loved spanakopita, so we decided to figure out how to do it without filo or feta.

Paper-thin zucchini replicates the filo. And it turns out lamb shanks (slow cooked with bacon, & then shredded like pulled pork) are divine & may be even better than feta for salty spanakopita-scrumptiousness.

This recipe is one of my new favourites.

We had one of these pies ready yesterday; the perfect comfort food for me after my mum's celebration of life.

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Spanakopita Pie

Servings: 6-8

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Time: 90

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch ‘pulled’ lamb (recipe, below)
  • 2 medium zucchini (or 6 small ones)
  • 3 bunches Spinach or Chard
  • 1 bunch fresh Basil leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Oregano
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil or Bacon Fat

Method:

Advance prep: The morning or night before, put the lamb shanks & bacon in the slow cooker.

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice the zucchini into rounds on the thinnest setting of a mandolin slicer. This is your filo pastry.

Grease a large baking dish or casserole with 1 tablespoon of the fat. Line sides & bottom of the dish with zucchini rounds.

Using another tablespoon of fat, wilt the greens, with the basil, if using, and the oregano. For chard, chop the chard stems finely & saute them briefly before adding the greens.

When the greens are wilted, add the pulled lamb to the pan & stir to combine.

Put half the greens & lamb mixture in the zucchini-lined baking dish.

Add a layer of zucchini slices, then the remaining greens & lamb.

Finish with a double layer of zucchini slices.

At this point you can cover the pie & refrigerate it for later.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of fat & drizzle it over top.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Quick variation

Fry bacon over slow heat to caramelize the flavors. Set aside. Fry 1 pound ground lamb in the bacon fat, then crumble the bacon back into the pan. Use the lamb~bacon mixture instead of ‘pulled’ lamb.

Pulled Lamb

Servings: 6-8

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Time: 500

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 slices of bacon
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt (Himalayan or ‘alaea')

Method:

Lay 4-5 bacon slices in the bottom of your slow cooker. Rub the shanks all over with the salt & arrange them in the slow cooker, bones tilting upwards. Lay the remaining 4-5 bacon slices over the shanks.

Cook on low overnight or for 8 hours.

Remove the meat form the bones & pull it apart with 2 forks, like pulled pork. Season with the warm, salty fat from the slow cooker.

Save the bones in the freezer for bone broth day.

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