Sounds fancy, actually easy. And yum.

By Thursday nights I am tired. The last commitment of the day is picking up big girl from Junior Guides at 7pm. And then we all pop on our jammies and flop together on the lounge for some quality food TV.

Possibly the kids don’t give a toss about world cuisine, but the chance to stay up until 8.30 means they’ve got a new-found love of SBS travel/cooking shows. Over the past couple of years we’ve watched Adam Liaw tour Japan (I’m hoping to retrace his steps some day), Rachel Khoo relishing France and at the moment we’re enjoying Shane Delia travelling Turkey, which takes me back to my own travels there in the 1990s. I remember how new and exotic the flavours and smells were.

As much as it pains me to contemplate them leaving, I hope my kids grow to be curious about the world and want to head off on their own adventures. To encourage them along, I’ve been enjoying making these burek, which sound fancy, but are actually super-simple family food. Just a savoury mince wrapped in filo pastry, coiled up and baked in the oven. The kids just call them ‘fancy meatpies’, which isn’t so culturally sensitive but is pretty accurate.

meat & vegetable burek

Schmancy meat pies. Sauce optional.


Beef & vegie burek

You can make the mince ahead, to wrap and bake later in the day, or make these up and store in the fridge until it’s time to brush them with butter and bake for dinner.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
500g beef mince
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 finger eggplant, finely diced (peel it first if your kids will fuss about the skin)
1 green capsicum, finely diced
Handful spinach leaves, this stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
2 tbsp parsley (optional)
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Filo pastry
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, combined with a splash of milk for glazing.

The key to success with filo is to make sure it is completely thawed (if frozen) and at room temperature. Then it’s pretty easy to work with.

Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat. Add the oil and pop in the onion. Cook, stirring often for 4-5 minutes until golden. Carefully place the mince in the pan. Use your spoon to break up lumps and totally brown all the meat (this take about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic and all the vegies for 2-3 minutes before scattering over the spices. Stir well and continue to move everything around regularly for 5 minutes or so. Move the pan off the heat and leave everything to cool for a bit (so that you can handle it easily).

Preheat the oven to 200C. Find whatever round dishes you have – make several small bureks or one large one – totally up to you.

Lay out your block of filo. Brush melted butter over the top sheet. Flip it over and lay it on top of the sheet below. Spoon a line of mince mixture along the length of the filo, about 3-4 cm in from one edge. Lift the top two layers of filo and carefully roll your pastry up into a long snake. Coil it around and squeeze into your round dish. (To make a large burek, just keep adding snakes onto the end until you’ve filled your dish.)

Brush with the combined egg/milk and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

If the filo bit sounds too hard (I promise it’s not), just scoop the mix into a dish, scrunch of some filo sheets and add them to the top, pie-style).

Serves 2 adults & 3 kids

Make a line of mixture along to whole length of pastry.

Make a line of mixture along to whole length of pastry.

Roll into a long cigar.

Roll into a long cigar.

Coil and squeeze into whatever oven-proof dishes you have.

Coil and squeeze into whatever oven-proof dishes you have.

family-food-made-fun

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15 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Looks great! Could you freeze them?

  2. 4

    Ema Jones said,

    I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s fine, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…

  3. 7

    Annie said,

    My mum makes these from scratch which is pretty amazing but soooo time consuming. You’re recipe is a short cut we younger generation have been using for ages. A tip from us is if you’ve already baked them the best way to heat them up is in your sandwich maker. Keeps the filo crispy cos the microwave makes it soggy. Looking forward to trying your filling. Looks great!

  4. 9

    Gem said,

    Trying these for dinner tonight! Can’t wait, they look so beautiful in their little tapas bowls! I looooove your recipes: have asked for one of your books for Christmas!

  5. 11

    Cindy said,

    LOVE this recipe. Very flavoursome and appealing to both adults and kids. Winner with my tribe and great for entertaining as it presents beautifully all coiled up in ramekins. I’ve made this at least a dozen times but have been very slack with commenting. Great work!

  6. 13

    Kristina said,

    Hi Wendy,
    I’ve just popped this into the oven, and it looks delicious! Have been using your recipes for two years now, and thought it about time I say thank you! My family and I love your recipes. Many, many thanks,
    Kristina

  7. 15

    Lara said,

    Finally tried this, partner was impressed by the fancy food! Unfortunately only one of the kids would eat it (but the other not himself today so hope he’ll try it next time). Was dubious about the rolling but as you said, it was easy. Thank you for this and all your other tasty, child friendly ideas


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