Beef Bourekitas. Photography: From a Family Photo Album.
Beef Bourekitas. Photography: From a Family Photo Album.
Recipe

Beef Bourekitas

A magical dish - a Balkan pastry with a crispy texture from the classic "mesa pina" dough, which Nona used to prepare to break the fast on Yom Kippur

One of the special dishes that Nonna would make for us to break the Yom Kippur fast was meat bourekitas, which she would prepare and bake in advance, so that they would be ready to be heated right at the end of the fast. Nonna made the bourekitas from “Masa Pina” dough – a light Ladino dough – whose recipe you will find in “Cheese and Eggplant Pie”.

These savory pastries were featured on the plate she prepared to break the fast which included: rice, 2 meatballs in a date tomato sauce, which we called “Kippur meatballs”, and 2 meat bourekitas. She made this special dish exclusively for Yom Kippur. We used to make certain dishes only on specific holidays. Today we are less strict about it, and we can enjoy the flavors of the holiday all year round.

Ingredients for Beef Bourekitas

For the Dough:

  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) margarine
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • pinch Salt
  • ½ cup water

For the Filling:

  • ⅓ cup שמן קנולה
  • 1 onion cut into cubes
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) ground beef
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • a little oil for coating

Instructions

  • 1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dough, except for the water.

  • 2. Add the water gradually, until you get a uniform, soft and flexible dough.

  • 3. Pay attention: you may not need the entire amount of water.

  • 4. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for about an hour. Meanwhile prepare the stuffing.

  • 5. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion.

  • 6. Fry the onion until translucent, then add the meat, black pepper, and salt.

  • 7. Fry the mixture until the meat changes color and turns from red to light brown.

  • 8. Cool the meat mixture completely, then add the egg and the pine nuts.

  • 9. Mix into a uniform paste.

  • 10. Take the dough out after an hour and roll it out, on a floured surface, into a sheet about ⅕-inch (1/2 cm) thick.

  • 11. Cut into wide strips of about 4.5 inch (12 cm).

  • 12. Along each strip, at equal intervals, place a teaspoon of the filling.

  • 13. Pay attention: the mounds should be  about 4 inches (10 cm) apart from each other and in the center of the strip.

  • 14. Fold the strip lengthwise over the filling.

  • 15. With the help of a glass, cut crescents out around each mound of meat. The cup will press the two the dough together and seal the crescents, so that the filling does not "slide" out.

    הכנת הסהרונים. צילום: מתוך אלבום תמונות משפחתי
    הכנת הסהרונים. צילום: מתוך אלבום תמונות משפחתי
  • 16. Collect the scraps of dough, roll it out again and repeat.

  • 17. Place the crescents on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

  • 18. Brush each of the crescents with a little oil.

  • 19. Bake in the oven, at 355F degrees (180 degrees), until golden.

◆ ◆ ◆

This recipe is taken from the book “Bendichas Manus (Blessed Hands) – Flavors from Nonna’s House” compiled by the grandchildren of the later Esther Raphael (née Vivanta) – Chaim, Revital, and Assaf – and carefully preserved by her daughter, Simcha Yosef.

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