Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Dough – Burek

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Pastry - Burek

I can say with a confidence that I have mastered the art of making pita. Pita, in Bosnia, is a general term for thin pastry with savory or sweet fillings. The best pita is made with homemade pastry – yufka. You can use sheets of phyllo dough although it is not quite the same. Store-bought phyllo dough is great for layering like in a baklava, but it’s not flexible to be rolled up like a traditional pita.

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Dough – Burek

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Pastry - Burek

Pita filled with meat is called burek. You might remember a recipe for burek with layered phyllo dough I shared a long time ago. That’s the shortcut version when I’m in a pinch yet still want to have pita. The same goes for a pita with cheese and the one with cheese and spinach.


I can’t quite put pita into one category. It is kind of a Bosnian street food, but you can eat it as a main dish, an appetizer or snack. It tastes great warm or cold. I have great memories of buying pita from a little shop on the street corner by my high school. When I visited Bosnia this September I had pita almost every day. It tastes even better now that they bake it under a dome. Here’s a peek into the shop (see the tree domes in the back?). Thanks to my dear friend, I’m now equipped with a dome but have yet to use it to bake pita.

Burek under the dome - All that's Jas

 

If you like being challenged in the kitchen, this is a recipe for you. It is lengthy and time-consuming if you’re a beginner in making pita. It takes time and practice to make perfect.

Also, and I can’t stress this enough, as with any new recipe please read the instructions several times until you’re confident it makes sense to you. Then proceed to make the dish.

Thin, flaky dough known as phyllo (or yufka) filled with mincemeat is delicious and popular… Click To Tweet

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

Pastry
2 cups all-purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup warm Water
1 cup Oil, divided

Meat Filling
1 pound Ground or finely diced Beef or Veal (or combination of both)
1 yellow Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon Black Pepper
½ cup hot Water

 

Directions:

Pastry:
In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt to combine (with this method sifting flour is not necessary). Make a small hole in the middle and add water and two tablespoons oil. Start mixing slowly from the middle out, using your fingers or a wooden spoon (I prefer fingers as I have better control and feel for it). Keep adding flour to the middle until mixture forms a soft dough that isn’t sticky. Note: Depending on air humidity, you might have a little bit flour left over or you might need to add some more. The dough should look similar to pizza dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Coat the dough with one tablespoon oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest up to an hour at room temperature or store in a refrigerator for up to two days (if refrigerated, allow dough to reach room temperature)

Meat Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and leave to rest, covered and refrigerated until dough is ready.

Line a large table with a clean tablecloth.

  1. Remove the rested dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4-6 smaller even pieces for individual pitas or into 2 balls for one large pita pie. Knead each ball until smooth for about two minutes.
  1. Using rolling pin, roll out rounds to a flat circle. Coat each piece with more oil.
  1. Take one round of dough and place the edge over your floured fists so the rest hangs in the air. One at the time, move your hands up and down to rotate the dough (similar to the way pizza makers do), working your way around the edge of the dough until its weight allows it to stretch into a larger piece. When it’s too large to handle, place it on the tablecloth.

If you are intimidated with this method, just use a rolling pin to stretch the dough as thin as possible without breaking it and then continue to step 5.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Using your fingers, gently shake and pull the edge of the dough towards you to stretch out the center, until it’s even and transparent. Take care not to tear holes in the dough. If you do, pinch them together. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it won’t be visible when pita is done. If making pita pie, the dough will eventually cover the tablecloth. Trim the thick outer edges and discard.
  1. Drizzle pastry all over with oil. For individual pitas, spread some of the meat filling over the pastry, then continue to the next step. For pita pie, put half the meat filling along the long edges of the pastry, leaving a one-inch border.
  1. Start to roll the dough on one side by lifting the tablecloth towards the middle into a long, thin log. If making a pita pie, lift up on both sides of the tablecloth then cut the dough between the two logs with a knife.
  1. Tightly coil the small individual pita rolls into a swirl. Place into a greased baking dish. For the pita pie, lay one end of the roll into the middle of a greased large round baking pan. Carefully wrap the remainder of the pastry roll around itself to form a snail-shaped pie. Take the second roll and continue where the other roll had ended. (If you don’t have a round pan, then don’t coil, just cut the roll the length of your rectangular baking sheet and place next to each other).
  1. Brush the top of the pastry with more oil (no worries about this much oil, this dish needs it)
  1. Repeat stretching and rolling with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top and base are crisp and golden.

Optional: Bring one cup water and one tablespoon butter to a boil and drizzle over pita when done baking.

Serve warm or cold with plain yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. Call yourself a master of burek making 🙂

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Pastry - Burek

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Pastry - Burek

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Pastry - Burek

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Dough – Burek

Rating: 51

Meat Pie with Homemade Phyllo Dough – Burek

Thin, flaky dough known as phyllo (or yufka) filled with mincemeat is delicious and popular Balkan food.

Ingredients

  • Pastry
  • 2 cups all-purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup warm Water
  • 1 cup Oil, divided
  • Meat Filling
  • 1 pound Ground or finely diced Beef or Veal (or combination of both)
  • 1 yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
  • ½ cup hot Water

Directions

Pastry:

In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt to combine (with this method sifting flour is not necessary). Make a small hole in the middle and add water and two tablespoons oil. Start mixing slowly from the middle out, using your fingers or a wooden spoon (I prefer fingers as I have better control and feel for it). Keep adding flour to the middle until mixture forms soft dough that isn’t sticky. Note: Depending on air humidity, you might have a little bit flour left over or you might need to add some more. Dough should look similar to pizza dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Coat the dough with one tablespoon oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest up to an hour at room temperature or store in a refrigerator for up to two days (if refrigerated, allow dough to reach room temperature)

Meat Filling:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and leave to rest, covered and refrigerated until dough is ready.

Line a large table with a clean tablecloth.

1. Remove the rested dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4-6 smaller even pieces for individual pitas or into 2 balls for one large pita pie. Knead each ball until smooth for about two minutes.

2. Using rolling pin, roll out rounds to a flat circle. Coat each piece with more oil.

3. Take one round of dough and place the edge over your floured fists so the rest hangs in the air. One at the time, move your hands up and down to rotate the dough (similar to the way pizza makers do), working your way around the edge of the dough until its weight allows it to stretch into a larger piece. When it’s too large to handle, place it on the tablecloth.

If you are intimidated with this method, just use rolling pin to stretch the dough as thin as possible without breaking it and then continue to step 5.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Using your fingers, gently shake and pull the edge of the dough towards you to stretch out the center, until it’s even and transparent. Take care not to tear holes in the dough. If you do, pinch them together. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it won’t be visible when pita is done. If making pita pie, the dough will eventually cover the tablecloth. Trim the tick outer edges and discard.

6. Drizzle pastry all over with oil. For individual pitas, spread some of the meat filling over the pastry, then continue to the next step. For a pita pie, put half the meat filling along the long edges of the pastry, leaving a one-inch border.

7. Start to roll the dough on one side by lifting the tablecloth towards the middle into a long, thin log. If making a pita pie, lift up on both sides of the tablecloth then cut the dough between the two logs with a knife.

8. Tightly coil the small individual pita rolls into a swirl. Place into a greased baking dish. For the pita pie, lay one end of the roll into the middle of a greased large round baking pan. Carefully wrap the remainder of the pastry roll around itself to form a snail-shaped pie. Take the second roll and continue where the other roll had ended. (If you don’t have a round pan, then don’t coil, just cut the roll the length of your rectangular baking sheet and place next to each other).

9. Brush the top of the pastry with more oil (no worries about this much oil, this dish needs it)

10. Repeat stretching and rolling with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top and base are crisp and golden.

Optional: Bring one cup water and one tablespoon butter to a boil and drizzle over pita when done baking.

Serve warm or cold with plain yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. Call yourself a master of burek making 🙂

Notes

Phyllo pastry can be filled with vegetables, cheese and even fruit.

https://all-thats-jas.com/2015/11/meat-pie-with-homemade-phyllo-dough-burek.html

Looking forward to connecting with you soon.

For more quick recipes and tips follow my All that’s Jas Facebook page or social network of your preference. It makes my day 🙂

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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23 Comment

  1. […] see: I made Tzatziki sauce, strawberry frozen yogurt for the grandkids, I served it with Bosnian meat pie, made parfaits and overnight oatmeal for breakfast, and still had plenty […]

  2. […] cheese pie or pita sirnica, there’s a meat pita aka burek, pita with potatoes aka krompirusa, pita with spinach aka zeljanik, pita with pumpkin, pita […]

  3. […] skilled people make the filo dough from scratch, much like the dough I used in the making of the burek-meat pie but stretched even thinner. I never got that ambitious with baklava so I stick to the store bought […]

  4. Reply
    Sherry
    November 27, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Wow! This looks so divine…double yum. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at Funtastic Friday.
    Sherry recently posted…Funtastic Friday #52My Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you, Sherry! Btw, love your new logo!

  5. Reply
    Sibella
    November 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Yum, looking great! I haven’t made any in a while…
    Sibella recently posted…Let it snow!My Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Now that I have some practice, I’m making them often. Nobody complained…yet, lol.

  6. Reply
    Jennifer
    November 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Wow, this sounds good! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 23, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Thank you, Jennifer! Have a great week. XO

  7. Reply
    Jess
    November 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Oh my gosh, this looks so amazing! Have you ever tried making your dough with 100% whole wheat pastry flour? I might have to try that. Pinning for the future! Thanks for sharing this with us for Tuesday Talk! -Jess, Sweet Little Ones
    Jess recently posted…The Most Important Mission: LoveMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 22, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Hi, Jess! No, I haven’t tried making it with wheat flour. Let me know how it turned out 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!

  8. Reply
    Melanie Redd
    November 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Yum! These look wonderful! I love anything made with Phyllo! Baklava is my favorite!

    I was “parked” by you today on Waiting on Wed., and I’m glad to find your site.

    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Hi, Melanie. Thanks for stopping in, I hope to see you on Thursday Favorite Things again 😀 And, baklava is my favorite too! Blessings!

  9. Reply
    AnneMarie
    November 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Oooh that looks amazing!!!! I have never been brave enough to make homemade phyllo (the whole idea of rolling out a super thin dough terrifies me; I feel like I wouldn’t be able to pinch together and fix all the tears haha), but these look really delicious!
    AnneMarie recently posted…Learning How to Live Without Stress in my (Prayer) LifeMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 18, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Haha, yeah it takes some practice and tolerance – I don’t always pinch all the tears. Thanks for stopping in and have a great day 😀

  10. Reply
    Jessy @ The Life Jolie
    November 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

    This sounds really delicious- I wish it was my lunch today!
    Jessy @ The Life Jolie recently posted…Bacon Jalapeno Ranch CrescentsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Me too, lol. I need to make more next time and freeze it. Thank you for visiting and have a beautiful day!

  11. Reply
    Jasna
    November 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Ho-ho-ho,…bravo majstorice!
    Jasna recently posted…‘Podvarak’- Balkan Way of preparing SauerkrautMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Ha, ha…da znas koliko sam ih napravila dok nisam potrefila…a ko magarac, navalila svaki vikend praviti. Ukucani se nisu bunili, naravno hehe.

  12. Reply
    Katherines Corner
    November 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    this looks like a winner to me. I can’t wait to try it , pinned xo
    Katherines Corner recently posted…Make It Monday Week Seventy FiveMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks, Katie! 🙂 Blessings and bear hugs!!

  13. Reply
    Ann
    November 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

    OMG! That’s just amazing. All home made and you can feel the all the lurrrve that go into that pita! Super impressed. I need to get my zen before I think I can attempt this without losing my head at the dough! 😀
    Ann recently posted…A Re-Blog: Time to MingleMy Profile

    1. Reply
      allthatsjas
      November 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Ha, ha, I lost mine a few times. Once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy, but boy, I failed so many times before I got that dough right 😀

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