While the Greeks may be know for their delicious spinach pie known as Spanakopita, they love to wrap all kinds of other things in phyllo, too.
This delicious greek meat pie uses fresh herbs (that’s what makes it a special treat). If fresh aren’t available, use dried; however, instead of dried oregano, substitute with dried spearmint. This quantity is for a 16 1/2 x 12 inch (or equivalent) pan (roasting or lasagna pan).
- 1 quantity of Best Homemade Phyllo for Filled Pies (see below)
- 6 to 6 1/4 pounds beef (or lamb, cut in small pieces)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 teaspoons of sal
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 heaping tablespoon mint (fresh and finely chopped)
- 1 heaping tablespoon oregano (fresh and finely chopped)
- 1 level tablespoon dill (fresh and finely chopped or fennel leaves)
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (fresh and finely chopped)
- 3 to 4 cups of water
Sauté the onion and garlic in hot olive oil. When the onion softens, add the meat and brown well. Dissolve the tomato paste in the wine and stir in, along with salt, pepper, herbs, and water. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is very tender and there’s some liquid in the pan. (Cooking time and the amount of water needed will depend on the meat. If more water is needed during cooking, add boiling water.)
Stir in rice and turn off heat.
Preheat oven to 340F (170C).
Prepare Phyllo Recipe.
Oil a 16 1/2 x 12 inch pan (or equivalent). Place the bottom sheet of phyllo on the bottom and spread filling evenly. Place the smallest sheet of phyllo on top of the filling, brush with olive oil, and place the final sheet of phyllo on top, and brush with oil. Tuck or crimp edges of the dough, and bake at 340F (170C) for 1 hour. The kreatopita is done when the corners of the crust don’t stick to the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and cover with a clean towel for 1 hour before serving. Cut into 4-inch pieces and enjoy!
Yield: 12 large pieces
- If making homemade crust isn’t for you, use one 1-pound box of prepared phyllo sheets. Use 1/2 on the bottom, brushing only the top sheet with oil, and 1/2 on top, brushing only the top with oil.
- If using leftover roasted meat, prepare as directed but simmer for 40-45 minutes only.