This Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust is an impressive main course. Ground meat with raisins, pistachios, and spices wrapped in crisp phyllo.
Today I bring you a recipe that is impressive and delicious. I wouldn't really call it a weeknight meal, as the time it takes to prepare and assemble it is lengthy. However, it would be a great entree to serve at any dinner party or weekend family dinner.
The recipe I'm referring to is Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust. This mouthwatering pie consists of ground meat, warm spices like turmeric and cinnamon, raisins, pistachios, and vegetables. I have tried it with ground lamb and ground turkey, and both turned out great. You could also use lean ground beef.
The crust is several layers of crisp phyllo. Working with the phyllo can be a little frustrating, but don't worry if it doesn't turn out perfectly - it's very forgiving.
How to make Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust:
As I've mentioned, this meat pie does take a fair bit of time to make (approximately 2 hours, all said and done), so it is best tackled on a day when you're not too busy.
The filling is not difficult to make. It involves sauteeing onions and carrots together, then adding the spices and garlic, then the meat, and cooking until browned. Finally, the raisins, pistachios, and cilantro are stirred in.
The other component of the filling is a yogurt-egg mixture, which is simply whisked together with a little salt to season it. This is simply poured over the meat mixture.
Making the crust does take a little time, and working with phyllo can be frustrating if you've never done it before.
Tips for working with Phyllo:
What is phyllo?
Phyllo (or filo as it's sometimes called) dough is a very thin, unleavened pastry that's often used in Middle Eastern and Balkan cooking. It can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes.
It's typically stacked, with olive oil, butter, or other fat brushed or spread between the layers.
Although phyllo can be made from scratch, it's easiest to buy it pre-made. You will find it in the freezer section of your grocery store, near things like frozen pie crusts, puff pastry, and bread dough.
Because it's so thin, phyllo is very fragile and can dry out and tear easily when working with it. To help avoid this, make sure you keep any phyllo that you're not currently using covered with plastic or a clean, damp towel. However, make sure it doesn't get too wet, or the layers can stick together.
You want to be very gentle when handling phyllo. Use a soft-bristled brush, like a silicone pastry brush, and a light touch when brushing with olive oil. Alternatively, use an oil sprayer, which will probably do the job more quickly and easily, but you might have to clean up overspray.
Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust Ingredients:
- Olive oil: you will use it both for sauteeing the filling, as well as brushing/spraying on the phyllo pastry.
- kosher salt: this is a great recipe to try MSG-salt
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground turkey or ground beef or ground lamb (I've tried this recipe with both turkey and lamb, and both turned out great).
- Golden raisins: or substitute with regular raisins - they will taste pretty much the same.
- Unsalted or lightly salted pistachios, shelled of course
- Cilantro: or if you really hate cilantro, substitute parsley
- Large eggs
- Plain Greek yogurt: use dairy-free plain yogurt to make this recipe dairy-free
- Phyllo pastry: find it in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Make sure it is thawed before you use it. Follow the instructions on the package to thaw it (generally overnight in the fridge).
Want more Ground Meat recipes?
Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below uses a total of 5 Tablespoons of olive oil for the calculations, which is approximately how much I used when I made this recipe. If you use significantly more or less oil to brush or spray your phyllo sheets, the actual fat and calorie contents of your pie will differ.
To make this recipe dairy-free, replace the yogurt with dairy-free yogurt.
Serve your Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust with a green salad to make a complete meal.
Spiced Meat Pie with Phyllo Crust
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing or spraying phyllo
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound ground turkey or ground beef or ground lamb
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup unsalted or lightly salted pistachios coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (use dairy-free plain yogurt to make this recipe dairy-free)
- 12 sheets phyllo pastry
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground turkey (or beef or lamb), breaking up any large pieces with your spoon. Cook until browned, stirring often, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the raisins, pistachios, and cilantro. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Set aside.
- Brush or spray a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil. On a clean surface, stack 4 sheets of the phyllo pastry and brush or spray both sides of the stack with olive oil. Place the stack of phyllo sheets into the springform pan, leaving the long sides of the sheets to hang over the edges of the pan. Repeat with another stack of 4 more sheets of phyllo, this time rotating the sheets 90° (eg. so one stack has the edges hanging over the left and right sides of the pan, while the other stack has the edges hanging over the top and bottom of the pan).
- Heat oven to 375°F. Brush or spray a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil.
- Spread the meat mixture into the prepared springform pan over the phyllo sheets. Use the spoon to spread the meat evenly through the pan, and gently pat it down with the back of the spoon. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the meat mixture.
- Stack the remaining 4 sheets of phyllo and brush both sides with oil. Then fold or cut the stack in half, and place both halves (eg. now there are 8 smaller sheets of phyllo) on top of the meat and egg filling. Fold the overhanging edges of phyllo up and over, gently smoothing it down. Don't worry if it looks messy. Brush gently with additional olive oil.
- Until the phyllo is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let the pie rest for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the outer rim of the springform pan, and slide the pie onto a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut into 8 even pieces.