Bougatsa (Minced Meat Pies)

You can garnish these pies with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds or garlic salt when serving.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Kefalotyri cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 package (16 oz.) phyllo sheets
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions 8 minutes until soft. Add ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, parsley, cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove cinnamon stick; add milk and simmer another 5 minutes until thick. Remove pan from heat; add cheese and eggs. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • Working quickly to avoid drying out pastry leaves, spread a sheet of phyllo on a working surface. Brush butter on phyllo sheet and cover completely. Add another sheet on top; spread with butter.
  • Place a portion of meat mixture at one corner of buttered sheets; spread slightly and fold phyllo over meat in a triangle pattern until completely folded over into a packet. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling.
  • Place packets on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes until packets are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool about 20 minutes before serving.