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Lamb Borek

Rated as 4.5 out of 5 Stars

"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."
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2 h 5 m servings 449
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 9-inch pie)


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In the meantime, combine egg, yogurt, water, and butter in a bowl. Whisk together thoroughly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a round baking pan or sheet pan.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  9. 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

Per Serving: 449 calories; 28 24 25.4 111 1086 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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Very good !!! Amazing flavor !!! I will make just the meat mixture for sandwiches or to be served over rice. It tasted good wrapped up in the phyllo pastry, but I won't make it like that eve...

This was spectacular! Not fond of lamb, so I used ground beef. The spices were spot on. Used a pastry cutter to "crumble" the meat, and that made quick work of it. This is an excellent compa...

Really great and tasty dish! Couldn’t get enough of it

I made this recipe as it is written. I liked the borek and will make it again but I thought it was a little bland. The yogurt topping is essential and makes all the difference. After all was ...