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