Rating: 4.5 stars
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Get your hands on the right ingredients, including about 12 good sheets of phyllo pastry, and you'll find this savory, lamb-filled pastry way easier to make than it appears--not to mention delicious--all thanks to an intentionally soggy dough. That's right! Lightly moisturizing the phyllo with an egg/yogurt/butter wash produces flexible, flavorful, and externally crisp layers upon baking.

Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 5 mins
15 mins
2 hrs 5 mins
1 9-inch pie


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Lamb Filling:
For the Dough:
For the Yogurt Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, and lamb. Break up lamb into small crumbles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes. Toss in garlic, currants, pine nuts, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and allspice. Cook and stir for 1 minute.

  • Pour tomato sauce into the lamb mixture. Add water, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until lamb mixture dries up and you can stir it without seeing liquid on the bottom of the pan, 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool completely before using.

  • In the meantime, combine egg, yogurt, water, and butter in a bowl. Whisk together thoroughly.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a round baking pan or sheet pan.

  • Place 2 sheets of phyllo on your work surface. Keep remaining sheets covered with a damp towel. Sprinkle some egg wash lightly on top and spread using a pastry brush. Layer on 2 more sheets, one at a time, brushing some more egg wash over each.

  • Line 1/3 of the lamb filling along one wide edge of the phyllo. Roll pastry up starting from the filling side and place it against the edge of the pan. Brush more egg wash on top.

  • Shape and fill 2 more rolls with remaining phyllo, most of the egg wash, and filling. Wrap rolls along and inside the first one, filling the pan, and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

  • Combine yogurt, mint, lemon juice, and garlic for the yogurt sauce. Mix in enough water to achieve desired consistency for dipping. Season with salt and cayenne. Cut borek into wedges and serve with yogurt sauce.

Chef's Notes:

Save any extra phyllo, since the filling recipe above makes extra, and you can fold up some smaller, triangular boreks if you want.

Substitute chopped raisins for the currants if desired.

If you're not into lamb, this works perfectly with beef. Or try a spinach-cream cheese filling for a vegetarian version.

Nutrition Facts

449 calories; protein 25.4g; carbohydrates 24g; fat 28g; cholesterol 110.7mg; sodium 1086mg. Full Nutrition