Börek with spiced beef and pistachios

Börek with spiced beef and pistachios



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 300 g minced beef (or lamb)
  • 30 g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 10 g (i.e. one) dried apricot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber)
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp ground allspice
  • 0.5 tsp paprika
  • 0.25 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.25 tsp ground ginger
  • 0.25 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (without thick stalks)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100 ml yoghurt
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • c. 12 sheets of filo pastry (c. 225 g)
  • nigella seeds and/or sesame seeds, to sprinkle on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (355 F).
  2. Fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until slightly coloured but not burnt, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat and add the meat, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. When the meat is cooked through, mix in pistachios, apricot and spices.
  4. Fry for another couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Season. Take off the heat and mix in the parsley and butter.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and olive oil. When blended, whisk in the yoghurt, then finally the milk.
  6. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  7. Take out the filo pastry and cover with a damp cloth. Filo pastry dries out very quickly, so don’t skip this step.
  8. Take two sheets of pastry, making sure they are exactly on top of each other. My sheets are roughly 38×32 cm.
  9. Cut the sheets in half length-wise. That’ll leave you two double sheets of roughly 38×16 cm.
  10. Spread around 1 tbsp of the egg mixture on each, making sure the pastry is thoroughly moist on top, but not so much it’s wet all the way through.
  11. Add a tbsp or so of the filling at the short end furthest away from you. Roll it up until the filling is covered.
  12. Fold in the sides and continue rolling until you reach the end. Place on the baking parchment, seam side down.
  13. Repeat until you have run out of filling.
  14. Brush the börek rolls with the egg mixture. There will probably be too much of the mixture.
  15. Only apply enough to make sure the böreks are nicely moistened but not oversaturated. Sprinkle over a few nigella seeds or sesame seeds.
  16. Roast until nicely golden, 30-40 minutes. Leave for a few minutes before serving.
  17. Börek reheats well, for example in a dry pan over low heat.
  18. Enjoy!!

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