Tuesday 18 September 2018

Spicy Beef Pie

Well, I was going to make a boureg recipe, where you make a tasty filling and fold it into triangles or rolls of phyllo pastry - but I got lazy:=)  And I had a lot of stuff to do before going away, so I made a big, beef slab of a pie instead.  I made the meat filling using the recipe from Nawal Nasrallah's book (yep, I know I'm a bit obsessed with it at the moment).  And I had some phyllo in the freezer, but I just couldn't face all that buttering and rolling, so I used shortcrust and puff instead.  I added some cheese slices on top of the filling, too.

I think the first time I had boureg/burek/bourek/borek was in Zagreb (Croatia), when it was still Communist and lots of boy soldiers with big rifles were stomping around the place.  Though nowhere near as many as in Belgrade.  Yugoslavia as it then was, really opened our eyes.  We realised how amazingly safe and protected we were at home; never having to think about wars and soldiers in the streets, and secret police coming onto the trains to check out your passports.  We are damn lucky in Australia!  Anyway folks, here's the pie recipe:=)

add some veg. to your plate

Adapted from Delights From The Garden Of Eden:


1 tbs olive oil

500g. (1 lb) of minced beef

2 medium brown onions, finely chopped

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

1 cup (60g.) parsley, finely chopped

2 sheets of frozen pastry - shortcrust and/or puff

4 slices of vintage tasty cheddar cheese (optional)

1-2 tbs of milk for glazing the top

1-2 tbs of sesame seeds (I used furikake - Japanese seasoning) 


Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat

Tip in the beef, spread it out in an even layer and let it sizzle away for about 5 minutes

Stir it a few times as it cooks for another 5-10 minutes

Now add the onion, give it a stir and stir regularly while it cooks for about 10-15 minutes

In goes the tomato paste, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon and chilli

Give it a good stir, and cook for a few minutes, stirring now and then

Take the pan off the heat, cool for a few minutes and add the parsley

Leave the mixture to cool right down

Grab a baking tray; line with baking paper or a silicone baking mat 

Place a thawed sheet of shortcrust pastry on it

Spread the meat filling in an even layer over the pastry

Plop on the cheese slices if using

Place another sheet of pastry - use shortcrust or puff - over the top

Brush with milk and sprinkle on the sesame seeds

Bake at 190C for about 30 minutes or till golden


I used shortcrust on the bottom, and puff on the top

ingredients gathered

let the minced beef sizzle at medium-high for about 5 mins. 

stir in the parsley

spread the meat over the pastry

place the cheese slices over the meat filling 

puff pastry on top with sesame seeds

golden brown and delicious after 30 mins @190C 

serve with peas and creamy potatoes

parsley artwork by sherry's pickings

(Mr P. says it looks like a tree on the African savannah!  Hmmph!)


  1. It is amazing to live without that fear. We had a terrible time of it prior to 1994 in South Africa, just not as bad as that.

    1. yes we stayed with an old couple in Sopron Hungary and they were terrified of being seen with us at the train station. so hard to believe that people have had to live like that.

  2. We are definitely lucky having all the freedom we do and like you, I didn't realise how much until I travelled overseas!

  3. As a lifelong American, I have always been safe in my own country, but I’m horrified at how we are treating large numbers of innocent people, especially children, in our current atrocious climate of persecution and fear. As of now, I have no way to influence my own government other than voting (which is somewhat corrupted). Sad to be political, but you gave me a prod here.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. hi Mae
      I know what you mean. i am feeling ashamed to be australian lately with our awful government not doing the right thing by the refugees. letting them stay locked up for over 5 years is just disgusting. Surely there should be a limit - say 2 years? and then they have to be freed. i am deeply embarrassed by our policy.

  4. I love this dish, your take on the borek/boureg is perfect and so much more achievable, I have filed this to make for lunch on Saturday. We certainly do take our Australian freedom for granted and we are seriously, the luckiest country in the world.

  5. Thanks so much merryn. Yes we are so lucky here. Hope the pie turns out well for you. Cheers sherry

  6. Sigh, the world can be so messy, can't it? As Mae suggested, far messier in the US than most of us would have thought possible. Anyway, terrific dish! I rarely make meat pies -- this is excellent inspiration. Thanks!

  7. This recipe looks so tasty, I love a good pie and there are lots of nice flavours happening in this one. Pauline


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