Lamb and Beef Burek

Coils of flaky phyllo pastry are wrapped around a lightly seasoned filling of ground lamb and beef in these Bosnian pastries.

Lamb and Beef Burek

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Taylor

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
8 servings

These savory Bosnian pastries contrast crispy phyllo dough with a rich filling of ground lamb and beef. After years of rolling homemade paper-thin phyllo dough, Samra Morris, winemaker at Alma Rosa, now appreciates the convenience of store-bought frozen pastry sheets. “If you’re single, though, watch out — in Bosnia, we like to joke that once someone can make a good burek, they’re ready to get married,” she says.

It’s important to use lean ground beef, rather than a fattier grind, when preparing the filling. Doing so will add rich flavor without making the burek greasy and more prone to burning while they bake. The lamb and beef filling can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  • 12 ounces ground lamb

  • 12 ounces 97% lean ground beef

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 32 (9- x 14-inch) frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed (such as Athens) (from 1 [1-pound] package)


  1. Stir together lamb, beef, onion, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush 2 (9-inch) round baking pans with oil. Set aside.

  3. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a clean work surface, keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Brush phyllo sheet lightly with 1 teaspoon oil. Top with a second phyllo sheet. Brush top of second sheet with 1 teaspoon oil. (Sheets will look slightly dry after brushing.) Place 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) lamb mixture in a thin line along 1 long side of phyllo sheet, leaving a 1-inch border at edges. Starting at filling end, roll phyllo tightly around filling to form a long log shape. Coil log to form a tight spiral. (It’s OK if the phyllo sheets tear when coiling.) Repeat process with remaining phyllo, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining meat filling to make 15 more burek.

  4. Place 1 burek in center of each prepared pan. Place 7 burek, seam side down, around burek in center of each pan, spacing evenly apart. (You will have 8 burek per pan.)

  5. Brush tops of burek evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F, and bake until sides of burek are golden brown, crisp, and flaky, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Suggested pairing

Morris recommends that you enjoy this recipe with a glass of Alma Rosa’s El Jabali Syrah, which balances the mildly gamey meat filling. “Burek has strong flavors, so I found a perfect match for it with our 2020 Alma Rosa El Jabali Syrah. The spiced meat in the pie perfectly matches with the complex tannins and dark fruit notes of the Syrah.”

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