Bea’s Serbian Pita (Burek)

Author Notes: Burek is a popular dish served all over Eastern Europe. By using phyllo dough instead of the traditional dough used in Serbian bakeries, Nanni Bea made it into what is called a “pita”. The filling is meat, but you can also make it with cheese, known as sirnica burek. This Serbian pita is delicious and great for serving a crowd! —Anna Francese Gass

Serves 6 to 8

For the filling:

  • 1cup light olive oil, divided
  • 1small white onion, minced
  • 1pound ground chuck
  • 1/2pound ground veal
  • 1/2pound ground pork
  • 1egg beaten with 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1packet phyllo dough, about 15 sheets
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
For the topping:

  • 6eggs, beaten
  • 1cup sour cream
  • 1/2cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. In a small sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook onion until it is translucent. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the three meats, cooled onion, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground pepper. Add the egg beaten with the sour cream into the mix and fully combine.
  3. Lightly brush olive oil on the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. Begin layering the phyllo sheets, lightly brushing each layer with oil. After 10 sheets are layered, spread the meat mixture in a layer to fully cover the phyllo layer.
  4. Continue laying the phyllo on top, lightly brushing with oil. Five or 6 layers of phyllo should cover the meat layer.
  5. Cut out the squares all the way to the bottom.
  6. Mix up the ingredients for the topping and pour it over the pita. Spread it over the top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, until topping is golden brown. NOTE: Burek can be frozen either before or after cooking—which means a quick lunch or dinner is at your fingertips. To warm it up, Bea simply heats a pan and places a slice of burek on top. The oily phyllo crisps right up as the filling heats.

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