Easy burek recipe

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Burek is a Croatian-Serbian meat, cheese or vegetable pie made with flaky filo. This one is filled with halloumi cheese.

4 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 4 People

  • 250g halloumi cheese
  • 1 jar Italian misto funghi (mixed mushrooms)
  • 250g filo pastry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:12min ›Extra time:2min cooling › Ready in:24min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grate halloumi cheese.
  2. Add funghi.
  3. Mix.
  4. Wipe baking tray with olive oil. Then lay down a thin layer of filo pastry. Sprinkle mix on top. Continue layering until the mushroom cheese mixture and the filo are used up, about 12 layers. Brush top with olive oil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 12 minutes.

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Recipe Talk

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Hi. I am looking for the actual recipe or a copycat of the MEAT-filled phyllo burek served at the Serbian restaurant, Three Brothers, in Milwaukee as featured in an episode of $40 A Day. I have searched online but haven't found anything that really resembles it, both in filling and in the way it is assembled with the phyllo sheets. Would very much like to prepare this dish in an authentic Serbian manner. Your help is appreciated.


Slavic Cuisine

Burek is an integral part of Slavic cuisine. According to my dear friend Srdjan, who is from Montenegro (part of the former Yugoslavia), burek can be found throughout Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia.

Burek, or Börek is made with phyllo pastry and filled with meat or cheese. Burek originated in Central Asia. Then it was adopted by the Ottoman Turks and spread through their military empire. Other variations of burek exist in North Africa, namely in Tunisia and Algiers.

Srdjan also told me that in his country burek is a sort of fast food. "It's like going to McDonald's and buying a burger!" he said. Somehow I am not so sure about this analogy. Burek is also available in stores by weight. I'll take two kilos please!

Here is a typical burek shop in Podgorica, Montenegro below. They are like the local pizza shop in the USA. The sign reads: Burek and then meso for meat, sir is cheese and peciva is pastry in Serbian.



Quick Steps for Making Borek

Step 1:Make sure your yufka dough is kept moist, so take it out of the packaging and keep it between two damp dish towels.

Step 2: Make the fillings for your borek.

Step 3: Cut your yufka, and separate the layers. Decide which shape or layering technique to use. Make sure to brush each layer with generous amounts of egg wash or melted butter.

Step 4: Cook your borek. Most, like ours is baked, but some called sigara börek (a Turkish cheese borek), are rolled and deep fried providing a completely different flavor. They are often served as appetizers to a meal.

Step 5: Serve, make sure to have a glass of Turkish çay (tea) ready!

Yufka is the traditional pastry used to make borek, and while you are in Turkey, you can buy some at the store. In the U.S. or other western countries, a good substitute would be phyllo dough.


How to bake the cheese burek

Place the cheese Burek into the preheated oven and bake at 180ºC (356ºF) for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

Cut into pieces and serve.

This cheese Burek goes great along with a Greek yogurt!

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Too Lazy to Make the Filo?

As we mentioned, you can purchase ready-to-bake filo and use it for making your zelnik but note this I&rsquove tried both, and using this ready-to-bake filo just isn&rsquot the same. It&rsquos still good but nothing beats a homemade zelnik recipe.

I know making your own crust can be time-consuming but if you just try making zelnik once, you&rsquoll discover that it&rsquos a nice leisure activity that goes really nice with lazy tasks, such as watching TV or singing along your favorite music. In fact, I&rsquoll dare to say that it can even be therapeutic for your time. Just try it once and you&rsquoll see what I mean. Even if you find it too tiring, you&rsquoll see that the flavor is worth the effort!


Traditional Algerian Borek Recipe

Algerian Borek or Bourek recipe is the looked for, by every Algerian family especially when it is Ramadan. This meat-filled pastry, placed on iftar table is the eye-candy of everyone sitting around. In addition to meat, Burek is filled with parsley, cheese and some spices that turn it into a delicious snack from traditional Algerian food recipes.

Let's find out how to make Algerian Bourek recipe with step by step pictures.

Ingredients

  • 10 leaves dules
  • 1 piece large onion chopped
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 piece egg
  • as per taste salt
  • as per taste cheese grated
  • as required oil for frying

Instructions

Let the meat thoroughly cook and then put the cheese to the mixture and stir for about 2 m.

Fold the two opposite edges of the sheet to get a rectangle. Roll it like a cigar.

Delicious Algerian Bourek is Ready.
Serve warm with wedges of lemon.


Recipe: Bureks From The Balkans

There’s no time like the present to try something new! I’ve got a lot more free time on my hands now that I’m not traveling. Since we can’t go anywhere, I’ve been experimenting a lot in the kitchen and trying new recipes! First up was adjaruli khachapuri from Georgia, next was pierogi from Poland, goulash from Hungary, and now bureks from the Balkans!

A burek is a flaky pastry, usually in a coil or spiral shape, that comes in a variety of fillings. This recipe uses the cheese variety, but meat bureks are very popular, as are spinach-filled bureks.

Originating in Turkey, they are a popular snack throughout all of the Balkans. Whenever I’m on a trip to this region of Europe, you can guarantee I’ll be eating a burek! I’ve had bureks in Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Albania. They are generally quite cheap—and very tasty! Each country may have a different way of serving burek, and spelling it. Börek , burek, бурек, etc. — but you get the same thing in the end: pastry with a crunch and a delicious filling inside.

I was actually quite surprised at how easy this recipe is. As long as you can find filo pastry sheets, this will be pretty straightforward to follow! In this recipe I tried to list ingredients for both the US cooking system (cups) and for the rest of the world (grams). It’s not approximate, but it’s close enough and hopefully saves you having to google the conversions. I absolutely love bureks and after using this recipe, I hope you will too! Here’s the easiest burek recipe and how to make a burek (or four) at home.

Burek Recipe

Time Required: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

1.5 cups (400 grams) crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup (55 grams) melted butter

Instructions For Cooking

1) Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C or 180˚C Fan).

2) Crumble the feta cheese and mix with parsley. I’m not a huge fan of dill, but you can also use a bit of dill in this recipe if you’d like. Mix it with the cheese and parsley.

3) Place a sheet of filo pastry on a flat surface. Melt the butter, and brush each sheet lightly with melted butter.

4) Spread a quarter of the cheese mixture along the long edge of the pastry sheet.

5) Roll the pastry sheet to form a long tube. Then curl the tube into a spiral or coil shape. Repeat for all 4 bureks.

6) Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with butter. If you wanted a slightly different flavor, you can brush it with an egg.

7) Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Serve warm—it should be flaky and have a bit of a crunch. The inside should be moist, but not gooey. Enjoy!

Alternative Options For Bureks

As I said above, meat bureks are very popular. Instead of the cheese mixture above, you can use beef mincemeat and fried diced onions (add in seasoning like paprika and a bit of cinnamon to taste). You can also make bureks with sautéed spinach with diced onion, and mix in dill.

If you’re interested in more Balkan food, you might be interested in these cookbooks! You can buy the Ultimate Balkan Cookbook on Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US) . You can also buy Balkan Comfort Food: Home Cooking From The Heart on Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US) .

The Balkans is one of my favorite regions in the world and definitely one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. I’ve traveled extensively around the region and have visited nearly every country. I’ve had amazing bureks in pretty much all the Balkan countries I’ve been to, and it’s a staple of my traveler’s diet when I’m on the road! Bureks usually tend to be quite cheap. In Kosovo, I had a large portion of burek that filled me up for about €1. They’re available in pretty much every bakery you’ll find, and will usually be wrapped up in paper so you can have a snack on the go. They’re impossible to miss on a trip to the Balkans!

I hope this recipe inspires you to bring a little bit of the Balkans into your life! If you find yourself in this wonderful region, make sure to have at least a burek or two on your trip!

Have you ever had a burek before? Are you going to try out the recipe? Share in the comments below!


Technique

If you’ve never worked with phyllo dough before, be careful when working with it, it’s extremely thin and breaks easily. That’s also why we’re using two layers for each piece of burek.

You can be generous with the egg yolk on top but put moderate amounts of olive oil and butter. The cheese itself will release some of it’s natural fats during the baking process, so small amounts of olive oil and butter are just enough.

You can get creative with the folding process. What I do is put the pieces of cheese exactly in the middle. I then fold the outer sides of the dough inward. Alternatively, you can put the pieces of cheese on one side and then “roll” in only one direction, tucking the sides in at the end.

Whatever method you choose, you should end up with bureks that are as big as the original piece of cheese you wrapped inside. The goal is to ensure that every bite contains a balance of cheese and phyllo layers.


Ćevapi can be found in almost any part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is an indigenous work of Bosnians. True Balkan food. Ćevapi has been part of the traditional diet in Bosnia-Herzegovina for several hundred years – and now you can make it at home with this super easy cevapi recipe.

Ćevapi is made with two simple ingredients: spices and meat.

However, it is not all about Bosnian ćevapi -it is said that the most famous ćevapi are from Sarajevo, Travnik and Banja Luka and you can also find them all over Croatia and Serbia and other parts of Eastern Europe. The difference is in the way of baking and serving. Some contain more or less fat, some have a dressing, and all of them come in a different size.

The real Bosnian sausage is unthinkable without onion. You can like it or hate it, but cevapi are always served with onions that are raw and without special seasonings. You may have come across some different ways of serving it, like ćevapi with cheese, veggies or even mushrooms, but that way of serving it is not traditional. Actually, to most Bosnians is blasphemous!

To make good cevapi, you need to have quality meat (ask your butcher to mince it for you if you can not do it yourself), and use more than one kind of meat.

Authentic recipes call for a mixture of beef and lamb meat. If you choose only one type of meat, you can end up with cevapi that is too dry or that doesn’t hold its shape. Therefore, the ideal mix is of the two above-mentioned types of meat (or even add in pork!)

If you are grinding your own meat, make sure you grind it twice. The secret of good ćevapi is in their texture, and good texture is only achievable with finely ground meat.

Besides these basic ingredients, you need to add some energy and bring the flavor to life. The easiest way to do this is with the spices. Luckily, Bosnian cuisine relies only on simple spices, like salt and pepper. And that is it, nothing more.

However, some like to add parsley or garlic, but these are optional additions. As you can see, quality meat and humble ingredients are all you need to enjoy this delicacy from the heart of the Balkans.