Borek, byrek, burekia, piruhi, pierogi, whatever you may call it, is an intriguing way of utilizing wheat grain in food recipes. It’s basically called pastry in English language, but it’s got a lot more to it. In a Turkish home, there is always some kind of pastry on the table. It may be borek, gozleme, pogaca, you name it. As long as the ingredients are fresh, your borek can’t turn out bad. It might only be good, better, the best, amazing, killer…
You can use fillo pastry as your borek base, or knead the dough yourself. This recipe calls for ready-made-pastry sheets. Here I’ve added a picture of the sheets, you can probably find these easily in Turkish grocery shops, considering wide-spread Turkish diaspora everywhere…
2 medium size onions, finely chopped
2-3 eggplants, 15-20 cm long
500 grs of minced beef or lamb
2-3 tomatoes, grated/mashed
Half a teaspoon of black pepper
A dash of red pepper
50 grs of butter or sunflower oil
500 grs of pastry sheets, 3-4 sheets with a diameter of around 50 cms
1 cup of milk
100 grs/ half a cup of yogurt
A handful of sesame seeds or poppy seeds
In a deep pan, cook onions with a dash of sunflower oil or butter till they turn a pinkish yellow. Meanwhile wash, dry, peel and chop the eggplants into small cubes, the smaller the better. Add them to the onion butter mix. Cook for 10 minutes, add minced meat, salt, black pepper, any other seasoning you might like and a dash of sugar. I put a little bit of sugar into nearly everything. Then add tomatoes when the meat is almost cooked. Here you go, the filling is ready.
Lay the pastry sheets on a clean large smooth surface. Cut the sheets into four. Grease a non-stick baking tray, it shouldn’t be too shallow, as you’ll pour a liquid sauce on your boreks.
Mix milk, eggs, yogurt and the remaining oil or melted butter with a whisk.
Put two tablespoons of filling onto the wider edge of a pastry sheet quarter. Spread a tablespoon of the milky sauce. Roll, fold carefully, make each quarter into rose-shaped pieces. Roll all your pastry quarters with filling and sauce. Line them into the baking tray. Pour the remaining sauce on the boreks. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or poppy seed. Let it sit on the counter for a few hours (this is optional, it tastes better this way though). Bake for 40-45 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Remove from the oven, bon appetite.