While I usually combine filo dough with different vegetarian fillings, this time I opted for a meat one. My original plan was to use lamb, but when I saw bison meat at the store, I decided to make a switch.
Bison meat is very flavorful and quite lean, and it worked well for this dish. The few ingredients I’ve used to season the meat (onions, scallions, golden raisins and pine nuts), complemented it perfectly and created a tasty and aromatic filling for the crispy pastries. I also brushed the dough sheets with a mixture of olive oil and tahini paste, that added a nutty flavor and aroma to the pastries. Served with fresh salad and green tahini dressing, the pastries made a tasty entree. Try them and enjoy.
* If using frozen dough, make sure to defrost it slowly in the fridge overnight. This keeps the sheets flexible.
* Filo dough comes in different thicknesses, which are marked by numbers. Here I’ve used #4, which stands for thin delicate sheets. If you’re still new to using filo, you may prefer using thicker dough (#7).
* If you can’t find bison meat, lamb, beef or chicken thighs can be used instead.
* Other types of oil, or clarified butter, can be used instead of olive oil.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
For the filling:
1 Tbs light olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6-7 scallions, chopped
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 lbs (454 grams) fresh ground Bison meat (I used Open Nature’s strip loin steak)
1 tsp crumbled thyme leaves
1/3 cup golden raisins
¼ cup pine nuts
For the filo:
½ cup light olive oil
2 Tbs tahini paste
½ package (½ lbs/227 grams) Filo dough #4 (see notes)
For serving (optional):
Green Tahini dressing from THIS post
1. Mix the oil, onion, scallions, 1 tsp salt, pepper and cinnamon in a large pan. Sauté over medium-high heat, mixing occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to brown. Add the meat and another tsp of salt. Cook, mixing to break it down, until it changes color and the liquids evaporate. Add the thyme, raisins and pine nuts and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a baking sheet pan with baking paper. Mix the oil with tahini paste.
3. Cut the dough in half, into rectangles about 6.3” (16 cm) X 9” (23 cm). Place one dough sheet over lightly oiled work surface and brush it with the oil-tahini mixture. Repeat with two more layers.
4. Place about a ¼ cup of the filling on the dough, as shown in the photo. Fold the dough over the filling towards the center, then from two sides towards the center. Finish with rolling, to create a “parcel”. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. Brush the tops with the oil mixture before baking.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown. Serve warm.