Rustic Reimagined: Modernized Traditional Romanian Phyllo Meat Pie
Dive into this delightful journey of culinary history with a recipe that marries tradition and modern tastes. Perfect for anyone looking to explore the charm of old-fashioned meat pie recipes with a contemporary flair!
- 600g ground beef
- ½ teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon liquid cream
- 30-40g melted butter
- Phyllo dough
- Frying pan
- Mixing bowls
- Baking dish
- Pastry brush
Today, we're thrilled to open a new chapter on our website where we delve into the past to revive old recipes for modern palates.
The first in this series is a unique adaptation of a savory meat pie from an old Romanian cookbook, titled "Buna Menajeră - Carte de bucate, practică" by Ecaterina Dr. S. Comsa, dating back to the 1930s.
My version of this old-fashioned meat pie recipe maintains the essence of the traditional dish while adding a contemporary twist. But let me tell you exactly what I am talking about
Modernized Phyllo Meat Pie Recipe
- Season your ground beef with hot paprika, granulated garlic, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- In a pan, sauté a medium onion in grape seed oil. Add the seasoned meat.
- Cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until done.
- At the end, mix in lemon zest, butter, and cream for creaminess. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt 30-40g of butter.
- Grease your baking dish with melted butter.
I use two smaller one, but feel free to go with just a large pie dish. It's only a matter or preferences.
- Cut the sheets of phyllo pastry to fit your dish. Always keep them covered with a towel as they almost immediately dry out, making it impossible to work with them.
- Layer 8 sheets of your prepared phyllo dough pieces, brushing each with butter before adding another.
- Add a layer of meat, then 5 more phyllo sheets (each brushed with butter), another layer of meat.
- Top with a final phyllo sheet.
- Fold the edges over and brush everything with melted butter.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes until golden.
- Allow the pie to cool slightly before serving.
Wiki Facts about Phyllo Pastry and Meat Pies
The phyllo dough recipes, like this phyllo meat pie, may have Egyptian or Greek origins, though this is still being determined.
In Romania, pastries filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, heavily influenced by Turkish cuisine. So, I believe these savory meat pies are a testament to the rich culinary traditions that have evolved over the centuries.
Original Recipe for Reference
Because this is a very old recipe done with a more modern approach, I want you to have access to it in its rough state. So here it is.
Ingredients for dough:
- 1200g flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- Warm water
Ingredients for filling:
- 1200g lean meat (chicken, pork, or beef)
- A bit of butter for frying
- 1 finely chopped onion
- Cinnamon, salt, and pepper to taste
- Lemon zest
- Butter for greasing
1. Prepare dough with flour, egg yolks, whole egg, salt, and warm water. Knead and rest for 30 minutes.
2. Boil the meat until almost done. Fry with onion, seasonings, and lemon zest.
3. Roll dough into 24 pieces, layering with butter and meat.
4. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes.
I found the original composition a bit bland, hence the added spices and ingredients. Halving the meat quantity suits my needs better, and while I love homemade preparations, making phyllo dough from scratch isn't feasible for many. Still, please feel free to try the original recipe if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we wrap things up, let's address some common queries about meat pies and their pastry:
Q: Where do meat pies originate from?
A: Meat pies are a global phenomenon with variations found in many cultures, dating back to ancient times.
Q: Is phyllo the same as puff pastry?
A: Phyllo is thin and flaky, used in layers, whereas puff pastry is thicker and rises more when baked.
Q: Why are meat pies unhealthy?
A: Meat pies can be high in calories and fat, but moderation and healthier ingredient choices can make a difference.
Q: How far in advance can you make a meat pie?
A: The composition of the meat pies can be made in advance and either refrigerated or frozen before baking. However, it's better to eat it on the same day after cooking it, as the phyllo tends to dry out.
This being said, in crafting this recipe, my hope is to bridge the gap between the cherished flavors of the past and the convenience of modern cooking. It's more than just sharing phyllo pie recipes; it's about keeping alive a piece of culinary history in our kitchens today. May this dish offer your table a taste of tradition with all the ease and joy that cooking should bring.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 523
- Total Fat 24.6 g
- Cholesterol 168 mg
- Sodium 369 mg
- Potassium 698 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 23.8 g
- Sugars 1.9 g
- Protein 48.9 g