Kimadopita is a Greek minced beef pie with filo pastry. It's very crispy, filling, and delicious. This meat-filled pastry has a naturally sweet flavor because it's cooked with plenty of leeks and onions. And also sweet, warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to name a few.
This Mediterranean meat pie is so much better than a classic puff pastry meat pie. Because this meat pie crust has all the flavor of a puff pastry yet it's so much crispier! Which is one of the best things about this pie.
Kimadopita is very similar to Egyptian Goulash with the only difference being in the spices used in each recipe and sometimes tomato paste being added to the latter.
How To Make
To make this beef pie with phyllo pastry you need to cook the meat first on the stovetop and then tuck it in between 2 thick layers of phyllo pastry.
Also, you need to prepare a thin, runny batter with milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, olive oil, and water to add between the phyllo layers and also to coat the top of the pie with it.
Unlike Baklava, where we brush each phyllo separately with butter, here we just drizzle some of this batter every 2 phyllo sheets. This makes the process much easier and quicker.
What gives so much flavor to this ground meat pie is the proper cooking of the filling. And I refer to the browning of the ground meat. You need to cook it in a non-stick skillet together with olive oil over high heat. Until it browns (the most important), and then add the spices. Then the onions and leeks and cook them over medium heat until they become soft.
TIPS FOR THE FILLING:
- Keep breaking the meat apart until it browns. We don't want any big juicy lumps we want it crisped and browned.
- Let all juices drain from the pan before adding the leeks and onions.
- Cook and stir the leeks and onions for a couple of minutes until they become soft. Steam cooked from their own juices, flavoring the meat to its core.
If you are not familiar with working with phyllo (filo), don't worry. It's easier than you think and I'll give you some tips below so nothing can go wrong.
For this phyllo pie, you need to cut the stack of phyllo in half. We don't want excess phyllo hanging out of the pan in this recipe. We want the phyllo to fit inside the pan. If you are using a smaller sized pan than the pan used in this recipe then you can fold the phyllo sheets a bit on the edges in order to fit inside.
Besides the surface of the phyllo doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, so don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. As the final result (after baking) will be!
So to make this meat pastry you add the phyllo sheets to the pan 2 by 2 drizzling with some of the milk-egg-yogurt-water-olive oil mixture every 2 phyllo. Once you add half the phyllo to the pan, you add the filling and then add the remaining half of the phyllo by repeating the same process as before.
TIPS FOR THE FILO DOUGH:
- Proper thawing of filo plays the most important role in how easy it will be to work the filo. Slowly thawing in the fridge overnight ensures that the filo sheets don't stick together.
- Cover the stack with a tea towel so it won't air-dry while you work.
Want to bring in more flavors to this phyllo dough meat pie?
You can add vegetables to it. Such as mushrooms, carrots, or pumpkin. To add mushrooms finely chop them and saute them together with the meat.
To add pumpkin or carrots grate them on a hand grater on the coarse scale. Then add together with the leeks and onions. Pumpkin is a great addition to make a Christmas meat pie for example. I like adding some rosemary, sage, and thyme in that case also.
You can add bacon diced and saute it together with the ground meat. In addition, you can add cheese like Kasseri or Graviera (Greek Gruyere).
Or you can even add some nuts. Like sesame seeds sprinkled on top of the pie before baking. Or ground walnuts or pine nuts and mix into the filling once it's cooked.
Can I Use Other Types Of Meat?
Yes, you can. This ground beef pie is very tasty when it's made with half pork and half beef. Using just pork could work but I haven't tried it yet. Lamb can be used as well. Just make sure it's pretty lean and that you drain excess fat from the pan when browning the meat.
To Make Ahead
You can make this pie up to the point of cutting it into pieces (before adding the milk batter) the day before and keep it in the fridge. Or you can keep it in the freezer for up to a month then thaw in the fridge overnight and the next day pour the batter on it and bake.
Storing Leftovers And Reheating
You can keep the leftovers of this meat pie recipe in an airtight food container in the fridge. Then reheat in the oven at 175°C / 350°F, uncovered. Or reheat individual pieces in a non-stick pan at the lowest heat, covered. This helps phyllo become very crispy again, as it tends to soften in the fridge.
Wondering what to serve with this meat pie with phyllo dough? I've got some really good suggestions. Of course, a salad is the number one option like a leafy green Maroulosalata, or an eggplant salad dip Melitzanosalata.
Greek Phyllo Meat Pie (Kimadopita)
For The Meat Filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 500 grams (17.6 ounce) ground beef or half ground beef and half ground pork
- 200 grams (7 ounce) leeks finely chopped
- 130 grams (4.6 ounce) onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅓ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
For The Pie:
- 450 grams (1 package) phyllo pastry
- 145 grams (⅔ cup) milk
- 70 grams (3 tablespoons) Greek yogurt
- 80 ml water
- 120 grams (12 tablespoons) olive oil or half olive oil and half vegetable oil (or melted butter)
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- Thaw phyllo in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Prepare The Meat Filling:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat.
- Add the ground meat and break it apart into coarse crumbles with a wooden spoon.
- Saute the meat until all juices drain from the pan and the meat is starting to brown.
- Add the spices. The allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and sweet paprika. Stir well.
- Add the leeks and onions and drop the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper.
- Saute until leeks and onions soften.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Set aside to cool.
Make The Pie:
- Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F.
- In a small bowl whisk together the milk, water, Greek yogurt, olive oil (or oil mixture), eggs, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Lay the phyllo stack flat open and cut it in half so you have 2 stacks of phyllo the size of the pan. One stack is for the bottom and the other one is for the top of the pie. Cover the phyllo with a tea towel so it won't air dry.
- Grease a 13 x 9-inch pan and add 2 sheets of phyllo. Drizzle the phyllo with 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture.
- Add 2 more phyllo sheets on top and again drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture. Repeat this process until you have used up all of the first stack of phyllo.
- Add the ground meat filling and spread it evenly.
- Add phyllo on top the same way you did for the base of the pie, using the second stack of phyllo.
- Cut the pie into 8 pieces and pour the remaining milk mixture on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until deep golden and crispy on top.
- Cut and serve with a side salad. Enjoy!