Make Ahead

Bea's Serbian Pita (Burek)

March  1, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Burek is a popular dish served all over Eastern Europe. By using phyllo dough instead of the traditional dough used in Serbian bakeries, Nanni Bea made it into what is called a "pita". The filling is meat, but you can also make it with cheese, known as sirnica burek. This Serbian pita is delicious and great for serving a crowd! —Anna Francese Gass

What You'll Need
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup light olive oil, divided
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg beaten with 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 packet phyllo dough, about 15 sheets
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • For the topping:
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. In a small sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook onion until it is translucent. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the three meats, cooled onion, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground pepper. Add the egg beaten with the sour cream into the mix and fully combine.
  3. Lightly brush olive oil on the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. Begin layering the phyllo sheets, lightly brushing each layer with oil. After 10 sheets are layered, spread the meat mixture in a layer to fully cover the phyllo layer.
  4. Continue laying the phyllo on top, lightly brushing with oil. Five or 6 layers of phyllo should cover the meat layer.
  5. Cut out the squares all the way to the bottom.
  6. Mix up the ingredients for the topping and pour it over the pita. Spread it over the top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, until topping is golden brown. NOTE: Burek can be frozen either before or after cooking—which means a quick lunch or dinner is at your fingertips. To warm it up, Bea simply heats a pan and places a slice of burek on top. The oily phyllo crisps right up as the filling heats.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anna Francese Gass
    Anna Francese Gass
  • sula
  • Jeanne Vaughan
    Jeanne Vaughan
Cookbook Author. Heirloom Kitchen.Food52 contributing editor & Recipe Tester.

3 Reviews

sula December 28, 2018
Cook meat first?!
Jeanne V. May 20, 2017
Seems like the meats should be cooked before assembling. Maybe in step one or two?
Anna F. May 22, 2017
no, the meat bakes in the oven so it is layered in the dough raw.