Burek, or Borek depending on what spelling you use is a dish made with phyllo pastry that is filled with meat or cheese. Burek is thought to have originated in Central Asia; it was then adopted by the Ottoman Turks who took it with them to the various corners of their military empire.
In a small frying pan heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add the beef and the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the beef is browned.
Remove beef mixture from heat and place in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Warm meat with juice will ruin the delicate phyllo and make it soggy.
Take phyllo dough and unroll carefully. Cut in half. Cover with a moist tea towel to avoid drying.
Take 3 sheets of phyllo at a time and place a good amount of meat down the center, leaving about 2" at both top and bottom. Using a pastry brush, brush all around the edges of the dough. Fold in once all around. Fold from the short side up and roll tightly like a cigar. Brush with melted butter and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the burek are golden brown. Serve with a side of plain yogurt.
Any leftover phyllo can be stored again in the freezer. Make sure you wrap it tightly so it doesn't dry out.
The biggest challenge is keeping the phyllo moist which can be accomplished by keeping it covered with a moist tea towel while assembling.
After cooking the meat be sure to let it cool down completely. If you place the hot meat mixture on the phyllo dough the juices and ruin it.
Start rolling the phyllo with meat that is fully cooled and you will have a great burek to bake! Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I store the burek and phyllo pastry? It is best eaten fresh right after baking but you can refrigerate the burek for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Any leftover unbaked phyllo keep it sealed in the freezer.
Can I freeze the leftover burek and phyllo dough pastry? Yes, it is best to eat it fresh but you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil then place it in an airtight container.
How do I reheat the burek? If frozen, do not thaw it as it will get soggy. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 10-12 minutes or until you have an internal temperature of 165°F. The bake time will be shorter if reheating from the refrigerator, be sure to check with a thermometer. Do not reheat in the microwave as it will be very soft and ruin the texture of the dough.
Burek Recipe Card
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 2.3mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.