Serbian Beef Burek (Burek sa Mesom)

Beef Burek

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  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 pie (8 to 10 servings)

This Serbian recipe for meat burek or burek sa mesom is made with flaky filo dough and ground beef (or a combination of beef, pork, and lamb) and formed in a 9" x 13" pan. It also can be shaped into a cylinder and then coaxed into a horseshoe shape or baked in a large round pan.

Bureks, or savory pies, exist throughout the Balkans, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. They can be formed into horseshoe shapes, coils, cylinders or round pies and are variously eaten as appetizers or the main course.

Some people consider them the quintessential hangover food, especially with a cold glass of kefir.


  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck or a combination of beef, pork, and lamb
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable, sunflower or pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 (1-pound) package thawed #7 filo dough
  • 6 large beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Bulgarian or Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups soda water

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onion and ground chuck until meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain in a colander. Return meat-onion mixture to skillet and add parsley, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute, mixing thoroughly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Lightly coat a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray. Separate filo dough into two piles (about 14 sheets each) and keep covered so they don't dry out. Half will go on the bottom of the pie and half will go on the top.

  3. Place 2 sheets in prepared pan and brush lightly with oil, folding in any overhanging edges. Add 2 more and brush with oil. Continue until you've used one pile of filo.

  4. Spread the cooled ground chuck mixture evenly over the filo and to the ends. Begin covering the meat with the remaining filo, again using 2 sheets at a time and brushing with oil.

  5. Brush entire top lightly with oil. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut burek all the way to the bottom into 12 squares.

  6. In a medium bowl, mix eggs with yogurt and soda water. Pour over burek. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.

  7. This makes a great luncheon course, entrée or appetizer and freezes well cooked or uncooked.