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hungry paprikas


For the filling

  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 diced onion roughly 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the pastry

  • 20 phyllo pastry sheets thawed
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup melted olive oil
  • 1 cup milk full fat or semi-skimmed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper


  • Thaw your phyllo pastry ahead of time either overnight in the fridge or for a few hours on your counter. Ensure you have at least 20 sheets of phyllo dough
  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Make the meat filling by cooking the diced onion first with a bit of olive oil until softened, which takes about 5-7 minutes
  • Add the meat and brown it until the liquid dissolves, about 10 minutes. Add all the spices and mix well, then set aside
  • Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil. Using a 10" x 6" pan (you can use a slightly bigger pan too, the pie will be slightly less thick which is a matter of preference), brush the bottom with the butter/oil mixture
  • Roughly cut the phyllo dough to fit your pan size. It doesn't have to be exact and its fine if the edges get folded over along the sides (this part will be extra crispy!).
  • Add 2-3 layers of phyllo dough to the pan then brush with the butter/oil mixture. Make sure you're generous and add a good amount. Add the next 2-3 layers and continue brushing every third layer or so until you reach 10 layers minimum on the bottom (a few more is fine)
  • Spoon the meat mixture onto the dough and flatten it with a spoon
  • Repeat the same steps with the top of the pie, adding 2-3 layers and brushing with butter/oil. Stop when you have reached roughly 10 layers on the top as well
  • Brush the top layer with butter/oil and carefully cut the pie into pieces using a sharp knife. Be sure to go all the way to the bottom and go over the cuts a few times
  • Whisk together the milk, egg and salt/pepper and pour over the top of the pie
  • Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top. You can broil it for a few minutes to get it extra crispy as well but stay nearby so it doesn't burn