Contributed by Kyma

Learn to make a spicy lamb pie from the menu of Kyma in Buckhead

I enjoyed a delicious meal at Kyma. What a wonderful restaurant. The wine list is amazing and the food is spectacular. I ordered the spicy lamb pie and the eggplant stew. I have ordered the cookbook “Modern Greek Cooking” by Pano Karatassos ($37.50, Rizzoli International Publications). However, looking at the index I see a recipe for the eggplant stew is included, but the not the lamb pie. I would love to know how to prepare this delicious spicy lamb dish at home. I am hoping you can help me get this recipe. — Kathy Tharpe, email

The spicy lamb pie Tharpe was looking for is indeed in Karatassos’ new cookbook but under the name of Lamb Phyllo Spirals. Karatassos is no stranger to working with phyllo and we recently published his Spinach and Feta Phyllo Pies in response to another reader’s request.

Karatassos says, “This recipe pays homage to the Greek exohiko pie, described by my friend John Lefkathitikis as having a filling of leftover meats that have been crisped in oil and garnished with onions, garlic, thyme and oregano. When I asked him how much thyme and oregano? ‘Enough so it smells throughout the kitchen,’ he said. I serve this lamb version with tangy yogurt and a citrusy salad of arugula and olives.”

If you can’t find lamb shanks, Karatassos suggests substituting 3/4 pound shoulder lamb chops or 1/2 pound of boneless lamb shoulder.

Recipe: Kyma’s Lamb Phyllo Spirals
  • One 20-ounce lamb shank
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 small Vidalia (or other sweet onion), thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 thyme sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced graviera or Swiss-type cheese
  • 4 frozen phyllo sheets, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Dill sprigs and parsley sprigs, large stems removed, for garnish
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a small ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the lamb shank and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate.
  • In the same casserole, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot along with stock and thyme sprigs. Press a round of parchment paper on top, top with casserole cover and bring liquid to a simmer. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook the lamb, turning it once, until a cake tester slides easily into the meat, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the lamb to a carving board. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a small bowl, and reserve the braising liquid and the onion mixture.
  • Remove the meat from the bone. Discard fat and bone. In a medium bowl, shred the meat and combine it with chopped thyme, oregano and flour. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the lamb mixture and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits stuck to the bottom, until crispy, about 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup braising liquid and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits, until the liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in reserved onion mixture and cool completely.
  • When ready to fill spirals, combine 2 cups lamb mixture with the cheese. Save any remaining meat for another use.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. For each spiral, lay 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface with a long side in front of you. Using 1/4 clarified butter, brush phyllo with butter. Cover with a second phyllo sheet and brush with clarified butter. Spoon half of the filling along the bottom long side of the phyllo, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll the phyllo over the filling and continue rolling to the end, brushing with clarified butter as you go. Starting with one end, curl the roll into a spiral. Transfer the spiral to the prepared baking sheet and brush all over with clarified butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo, filling and butter. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until the butter is firm, at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a large skillet with remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter and warm over medium heat. Add the pastries and cook, turning them once and watching carefully so they don’t burn, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the pastries to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart, and bake, turning them once, until a cake tester inserted in a pastry is warm when touched to your lower lip, about 10 minutes.
  • While the pastries are baking, make arugula salad: In a medium bowl, the arugula with the scallions, olives, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half of the yogurt in the center of two serving plates and set the lamb pastries on top. Mound the salad on the pastries, garnish with dill and parsley, and serve, with each plate serving two people. Serves: 4

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 727 calories (percent of calories from fat, 71), 29 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 57 grams fat (23 grams saturated), 136 milligrams cholesterol, 796 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of … Kyma, 3085 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta. 404-262-0702.

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of restaurant in the subject line.


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