Yesterday, as is usually the way on Wednesdays, I had the morning off and Alberto and I were both finishing work at 8pm, so it was the perfect opportunity to spend the morning cooking this pie, which is also from the new Rick Stein cookbook I got for my birthday. Apparently the recipe is from Thessaloniki and is usually made with sheep’s milk butter, but ordinary butter will do just as well. Judging from the description in the recipe it looks like the sort of pie that is normally cut up into squares for snacks, however it worked just as well as a main course for two. The brittle nature of the filo pastry did mean that it was a bit messy to serve though and doesn’t look that neat on the plate, as you can see from the picture below. Tasty though!
I increased the amount of meat used, in order to bulk it up a bit, and I added ½ a green pepper, as well as the red, for a touch of variety.
Serves 2 (or 12 as party food/snacks)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
½ a green pepper, finely chopped
150g of pork mince (I used 250g)
150g of beef mince (again, I used 250g)
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
½ a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
200ml of chicken stock
½ a teaspoon of salt
Freshly ground black pepper (about 10 turns)
10-12 large sheets of filo pastry (depends how big your dish is – mine was about 30cm square and 3cm deep)
100g of butter, melted
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat, and gently fry the onion and pepper for about 10 minutes or so, until soft.
Add the pork and beef, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, and continue to fry for a further 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until evenly browned.
Add the chilli flakes, oregano, tomato purée and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and then continue to cook, for about a further 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cook.
Pre-heat the oven to 190.
Lay a sheet of filo pastry over the base of your chosen pie dish. Brush with butter. Repeat with a further 5 sheets, brushing each sheet with butter after laying it in the dish. (The sheets I was using were slightly longer than they were wide, so I alternated the direction of each sheet so as to get good coverage up the sides of the dish.
Spread the cooled filling over the filo, then lay another sheet of filo pastry over the top. Brush it with butter and then continue laying sheets over the top, buttering each sheet, until you have used them all up. Finish by buttering the top.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until crisp and golden.
Allowing it to cool slightly before serving might make it a bit easier to serve, but hey – it had been a long day at work and Alberto and I were hungry! (If you were using it as snacks for a party, rather than a main meal, then allow it to cool a little and then cut into 12 even squares.)