Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Phyllo Beef Bake

Written By: Chris - Nov• 30•12

I had some store-bought Phyllo pastry dough sheets in the freezer to make simple appetizers recently.  Jon and Laura were joining us for dinner and brought along some of the pre-formed cups for our dinner, so I didn’t bother with what I had thawed out.  (I had taken frozen phyllo dough and thawed it overnight in the refrigerator)  I didn’t want to re-freeze it and know that it can be used for savory or sweet dishes.  Phyllo makes dishes taste special.  It is buttery, it flakes, and tastes great!

It was a fun Sunday in the kitchen and I had plenty of time and also realized I had plenty of pastry dough!  A lot of sheets came in the box!  I decided to create a dish that resembled Spanakopita, the classic buttery spinach-feta pie, but then I read about “Hortopita”, which is like Spanakopita, but better.  It uses any sort of greens mixture (horta in Greek) plus onions or scallions and fragrant herbs!  You could use olive oil rather than butter if you want it less rich.  I also decided to add ground beef so it would be a hearty meal.  I had fresh spinach and also included fresh broccoli because it’s what I had on hand in my fridge!   This recipe requires a little bit of preparation, but was well worth the effort!

Ingredients:

1 large Onion, chopped
1 pound of 80/20 Ground Beef
1 Quart Baggie (about 2 Cups) of fresh Broccoli
1 Cup chopped fresh Spinach
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 small container of Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Feta Cheese
2 Eggs (I use Egg Beaters)
2 Garlic Cloves
Dried Oregano
Dried Thyme
Salt & Pepper
20 Sheets frozen Phyllo Dough, thawed
1 Stick Butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions and ground beef.  Cook until almost browned and onions are softened, add the garlic and cook for about another two minutes.  Drain any access fat and set aside.

I took the easy route and steamed the washed broccoli for two minutes on high in the microwave.  Chop the cooked broccoli in the food processor until fine.

Add the chopped green onions and fresh spinach to the chopped broccoli and continue to pulse until fine.

 

In a small bowl, combine feta, ricotta and eggs.  Mixing with a spoon lightly, so the feta stays in small chunks

Melt butter in a small dish and lay out your sheets of phyllo, cover with a damp cloth.  Have fresh herbs handy and Combine chopped greens with the meat and cheese mixture.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Set everything up for assembly.

Brush the bottom of a 9×13″ cake or roasting pan with a bit of butter and lay a sheet of phyllo gently into the bottom.  Lightly brush it with butter.  Lay another sheet on top and brush with butter. Continue layers, sprinkling about a teaspoon/tablespoon of dried herbs on every other layer until you have ten layers.

Pour the greens and meat filling gently into the pan.  Spread evenly.

Lay ten more layers of butter-brushed phyllo on top; alternating with herbs like the bottom layer.  Score the top layer in an angle.

Place in the oven and bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling inside.  Allow to cool so that the cheese sets up somewhat prior to cutting!  Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

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