Borek - Turkish Phyllo Meat Pie
July 12, 2017
"Borek is found all over Turkey, and in many places that the Ottoman Empire used to be, such as Armenia. Each place within or outside of Turkey puts their own twist on it, but basically its a dough-filled pastry. Most often the pastry filling is savory and will usually be cheese, ground beef, or spinach. Sometimes you can find potato or other vegetables or even sausage fillings. Here in this recipe, it lists yufka which is thicker than phyllo and thinner than a tortilla. It is flaky. I haven't used yufka, but have used phyllo in its place."
- Serving Size: 1 (259.9 g)
- Calories 519.1
- Total Fat - 29.5 g
- Saturated Fat - 8.4 g
- Cholesterol - 187.6 mg
- Sodium - 375.1 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 29.8 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2.2 g
- Sugars - 3.2 g
- Protein - 32 g
- Calcium - 79.5 mg
- Iron - 5.8 mg
- Vitamin C - 37.7 mg
- Thiamin - 0.4 mg
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the peppers, pul biber (Aleppo pepper) and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the beef and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables and meat to a bowl and let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and 1/2 cup of the canola oil. Lay a sheet of yufka on a work surface and brush with the egg mixture; repeat until you have a stack of 2 sheets (If using phyllo, you may want to add an extra sheet or so).
Transfer the stack to the baking dish and spread one-third of the beef mixture on top. Repeat the layering twice more with the brushed yufka sheets and beef filling, then end with a stack of brushed yufka.
Trim the overhanging yufka slightly and tuck it under itself. Brush any remaining egg mixture on top of the borek, top with the nigella sativa seeds (black cumin seeds) and bake until deeply golden on top and sizzling, about 45 minutes.
Let the borek rest for 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
NOTE: Yufka is nonleavened dough that is thinner than a tortilla and heartier than phyllo dough; it has a substantial bite but is still very flaky. It is rumored to be the original form of phyllo. Yufka is used to make many flatbreads, pastries, and borek, a baked or fried pie found in Turkey and the Middle East. If using phyllo, some brands are a bit thicker than others, use the thicker variety. Also, if using phyllo you may want to add an extra sheets or so for each layer.
NOTE 2: Not having made this recipe yet, I believe that if using phyllo brushing with the egg may make it not flaky. I'd use melted butter (either separately or in addition to the egg) to add the flakiness.
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.