Moussaka pie


 This is my version of a mince meat pie made with filo pastry, which is widely popular in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and  the Balkans in general.  The choice of meat and herbs used varies, it takes many different shapes and sizes, but the concept behind it is the same : fry the onions, add the mince meat and roll it up with filo pastry. Three main ingredients and yet, so many versions and so many different product results of this, in core, very simple dish. Over the years I've tasted and tested many of them and changed my recipe accordingly, until some years ago I decided  (to be fair it was my family that made the decision for me) that this is it, the version that ticks all the necessary boxes; with salad or greens it could be served as a main dish, it is moist, somewhat spicy, holds shape, equally tasty warm or cold and could last for two to three days.

Because I use equal amount of potatoes and mince meat I named it Mousska pie:

1 packet of filo pastry (12 sheets)
1/2 kg of mixed mince meat (250 g pork/250 g beef)
1/2 kg grated potato
1 large or 2 small onions finely diced
vegetable oil
3 - 4 eggs
chilli flakes
pinch of ground paprika
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley or
tbs of dry parsley
black pepper
oven preheated to 220 C

 Fry the onions over medium heat in a large frying pan with a pinch of salt, and when translucent, add the peeled and grated potato, black pepper and chilli flakes and stir occasionally until potato is half cooked. Then put the mince meat in and cook for 10 minutes, stir from time to time. Move from the heat and leave to cool. When cold, mix the eggs and parsley and season to taste.

Lay one sheet of pastry, sprinkle lightly with  oil and the meat filling. Transfer it unrolled to a tray and set aside.Then take another sheet, and spread the filling all over it lightly rubbing the filling in, then roll loosely. Make 2 more rolls the same way. They are ready to be assembled now. Take the first rolled sheet and place it lengthwise at the beginning of the first sheet that was placed aside. Put the second one next to it and then the third one on the top of them making a triangular shape. Roll all three of them together and transfer to a baking tray.

Make two more rolls the same way, brush with egg-wash and bake. After 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 200 C, and when almost ready,turn the oven off and leave it for another 5 to 10 minutes.
take it out and leave to rest for half an hour.

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