They get around, the folk who compile the travel guides for Lonely Planet, so when they nominate the world’s best spicy foods, the chilli chasers among us take notice. The World’s Best Spicy Food: Where to Find it & How to Make It (Lonely Planet, 2014) lists 100 fabulous heat-freak treats and we were pleased to see that one of our favourites—this pizza-sized big cousin to the Turkish pides we all love—made the list. As Greg and Lucy Malouf report in their Turkish cookbook Turquoise (Hardie Grant, 2007), pizzas baked in wood-fired ovens are among Turkey’s most popular snacks. “Toppings vary from region to region but the most widely available is known as lahmacun, which is made with a paste of mildly spicy lamb.” The Maloufs observe that the lamb is usually finely chopped by hand but in Yolaine Corbin’s version for the Thermomix, the machine—as usual—does the hard work, including making the dough. Lahmacun is usually eaten hot, finished with a squeeze of lemon. For this recipe we’ve added some peppery rocket leaves for further freshness. Not hot enough for you? Try getting your hands on some urfa chilli flakes from Turkey; we haven’t included them in this recipe as they can be hard to find but you may be able to track them down at specialist spice retailers. They are dark red and sweetly smoky. Sprinkle them over your lahmacun just before eating and feel the burn—in a good way.
Lamb & Tomato Topping
- For the flatbread dough, place water, yeast and sugar in the bowl and heat 2 minutes/37 degrees/speed 1. Let sit for about 10 minutes; the mixture should start to foam. Add the flours and salt and work for 3 minutes/Kneading function.
- Transfer into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Knock the air out by punching the dough, and then divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll these pieces into balls and transfer them onto a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the topping. Place the semi-frozen lamb meat into the bowl and mince to your liking 6–8 times/0.5 seconds Turbo. Set aside.
- Without washing the bowl, chop garlic, parsley and chilli 3 seconds/speed 7. Scrape the sides and repeat. Add shallots and tomatoes then chop 3 seconds/speed 5.
- Add oil, tomato paste and spices and whip 20 seconds/speed 4. Return minced lamb, season to liking with sea salt and cracked pepper and combine 10 seconds/Reverse/speed 2. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat oven at 210C and place a pizza stone or baking tray in the bottom third part of the oven.
- Work one dough ball at a time and roll it onto a lightly floured bench to a 25-centimetre disc. Brush off excess flour and transfer onto a piece of baking paper. Spoon 3–4 tablespoons of the topping mixture onto the pizza base and spread evenly to a thin layer to the edges.
- Transfer carefully onto the hot pizza stone/tray and bake 8–10 minutes until the topping is cooked and the dough is golden brown.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and topping. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with rocket leaves and a wedge of lemon.
AND … The flatbreads can be made and rolled ahead, frozen with a piece of baking paper in between them and used as needed.