How to Make Borek
This is Turkish recipe in German, but easy to follow in any language.
Borek is a popular dish in the former the Yugoslavia. My son-in-law', Sejo's mom, Milka who was a chef in a huge hotel in Glina, Croatia and then Pristina, Kosovo often makes Borek. This is the potato and feta type, it can be made with just cheese like Kajmak and feta or with meat. Cut into small pieces it is a lovely and popular appetizer-very nice with drinks.
Borek/Burek in former Yugoslavia is called pida/pita or pie -"zeljanica" which is filled with a spinach and egg mix, and "sirnica" which is filled with cheese and yogurt, and "Pljeskavica sa kajmakom" which is with mixed meat and kajmak. Kajmak cheese a type of Farmer's cheese is often used. Kajmak is a creamy dairy product, similar to clotted cream, made all over the Middle East, Southeast Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Turkey.
Here is a basic Borek recipe
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 box phyllo pastry sheet (12 inches x 17 inches)
• 3/4 cup butter, melted
Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Saute the onion until soft, and then add the ground beef, allspice, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.
Cook until the meat is crumbly but not dry. Cool completely before you continue.
Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the counter. Brush with some of the butter. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of meat mixture acrosss the sheet along the long side, 2 inches from edge. Fold the bottom over the meat mixture and roll into a snake shape. Cut the roll in half and coil each roll into a snail shape. Place on a nonstick baking sheet and butt the end up against the edge of the pan to prevent uncoiling. Brush with additional butter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until just golden.
Keep the remaining sheets of phyllo dough covered with plastic, and work quickly to prevent in from drying out.
Hint on handling phyllo dough: Be sure the dough is at room temperature before you open the box. Place the sheets of dough on a large cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap and then a heavy towel. In this way, they will not dry out while you are working with them. Work fast for best results and do not have the butter too hot when brushing the dough.
Yield: 18 to 20