A recipe for Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği (Turkish Phyllo Pastry with Beef)! Sheets of phyllo are arranged in a tray with a spiced ground beef filling and baked until golden.
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Kıymalı Börek is a type of Turkish pastry filled with seasoned ground beef. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Today, I am sharing one of the easier versions, Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği (Turkish Phyllo Pastry with Beef)!
For Tepsi Böreği (tray pastry), layers of phyllo/filo are arranged one by one in a 9×13 inch (22×33 cm) baking dish and coated in a yogurt egg mixture. Brushing each individual sheet creates an incredible flakiness and pairs wonderfully with the spiced ground beef filling.
A Few Tips
This recipe is very forgiving to those who are new to working with phyllo. Do not worry if a sheet or two tears slightly. Just try your best to patch it up. Brush very gently with the yogurt mixture to help keep it from tearing.
I used plain yogurt for the brushing mixture. If using a thicker yogurt, adjust the amount of milk as needed to thin slightly. The mixture should not be watery. It should be thick enough to coat the pan and phyllo sheets.
The ground beef mixture is mildly spiced with salt, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. For a bit more heat, add a pinch or two of Pul Biber- crushed chili flakes. Other recipes also sometimes add tomato/tomato paste or peppers.
If desired, top the Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği (Turkish Phyllo Pastry with Beef) with a sprinkling of nigella seeds or sesame seeds before baking. Nigella seeds come from the fruit of the Nigella sativa, a pale blue or white flower originating from southern Asia and northern Africa.
These black, triangular seeds are used to top many breads throughout the Middle East to India and northern Africa. They don’t have much flavor when raw, but become more peppery with a smokey flavor when cooked. Nigella seeds are available in markets specializing in Middle Eastern ingredients, larger spice stores, and on Amazon: Nigella 2.0 oz – Zamouri Spices.
I used phyllo/filo for the pastry layers, but this would be even better with Yufka (Turkish fresh, thin pastry sheets). It can be found in some specialty markets with Turkish ingredients. I haven’t personally tried it, but 196 Flavors has a recipe for homemade yufka. For frozen phyllo, place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw or for a couple of hours at room temperature before assembling. Cover with a towel to keep the sheets from drying out and cracking.
Looking for more Turkish recipes?
Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği (Turkish Phyllo Pastry with Beef) Recipe
Adapted from Turkish Food Passion
Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği (Turkish Phyllo Pastry with Beef)
Ground Beef Filling:
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (10 grams) fresh parsley chopped
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) olive oil
- 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) milk
- 1 large egg
- 12 sheets Phyllo/Filo
- Nigella or sesame seeds for topping
To make the ground beef filling:
- In a large pan, drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the ground beef, breaking up into small pieces, and stir until browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Cook for another minute, then remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, milk, and egg until smooth. Brush a thin layer over the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking dish.
- Place phyllo sheets on work surface and cover with a cloth. Place one sheet of phyllo in the prepared baking dish. Gently brush with the yogurt mixture. Repeat with six phyllo sheets in all, brushing each layer.
- Spread the cooked ground beef over the prepared phyllo sheets in baking dish. Place a phyllo sheet over the layer of ground beef. Brush with yogurt mixture. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets. Brush the top with more yogurt mixture.
- If desired, top the pastry with a sprinkling of nigella or sesame seeds.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 40-45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.