Turkish Borek

The other day, I hosted my first ever 90's ghetto hip hop brunch.

You're probably wondering how this works.

Basically, you invite friends over for brunch, even though you don't really have brunch food.  But you do have bacon, so OK, you're doing something well...Then you turn on the Spotify Hip Hop radio station while you decide you want to make something completely new (Turkish Borek!) and test it out on your unsuspecting friends.  Then you start to panic when you realize that brushing layers of phyllo dough while assembling the aforementioned recipe is taking about 3000 extra hours than you originally planned.  As your friends arrive, you continue to assemble the recipe which you thought would already be in the oven by now.  Your hand cramps up from brushing all those layers and you take a pause in order to slice up guavas that happen to be sitting on your kitchen counter (don't we all have guavas on our kitchen counters?).  You also reach into your junk food cabinet and pull out a container of Cadbury Creme Egg cookies that you got on clearance right after Easter and have been dying to try but had no good reason to open up an entire package of cookies that you know you would eat in one sitting.  Proceed to arrange these cookies on a tray and serve up.  Promptly eat 3 of the 6 cookies.  Oh, and you do have one and a half bottles of wine and two bottles of stout beer to offer as well.  Don't forget about those.  Classy.

As Tupac and Biggie harmonize in the background, you quickly finish assembling the Turkish Borek, pop it in the oven, and guzzle down a glass or two of wine.  Finally, you remove the Borek, pop in a baking sheet filled with bacon because you don't make bacon in a frying pan any longer, and then finally after another 200 years, you're ready to serve up a well-balanced meal of Turkish Borek and bacon.

Ghetto 90's Hip Hop brunch is served!

PS - This borek was delicious!  It reminds me of a Jamaican meat patty, which I grew up eating in the Bahamas.  Yesss!!!


Turkish Borek
slightly adapted from Chocolate & Chilies

Print Recipe

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • red pepper flakes, optional

For the outer layers:

  • 1 package phyllo dough (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg

1) In a saucepan over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil.  Toss in the onion and saute until softened.

2) Add in the minced garlic and stir in for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

3) Next, place the ground beef in the pan.  Break up the ground beef while it cooks.

4) When the meat is almost cooked through, sprinkle in the chives, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes, if desired.  Stir until everything is incorporated and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until cooked through.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6) In a medium sized bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, olive oil, and egg.  Use a whisk to ensure everything is incorporated.

7) Slice the phyllo dough in half.  Brush a thin layer of the yogurt mixture on the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.  Add a layer of the phyllo dough and brush with another layer of the yogurt mixture.  Continue this process until half of the phyllo dough has been added to the dish.

8) Gently pour in the ground beef mixture and spread in an even layer.

9) Place a layer of phyllo dough on top of the beef.  Gently brush with a thin layer of the yogurt mixture.  Repeat the process until the remaining layers of phyllo dough have been added.  Brush a thin layer on top of the final layer of phyllo dough.

10) Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the phyllo dough is brown on top.

11) Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, before slicing into squares and serving warm.