Phyllo pastry with cheesy meat mince filling
500 gm packet of phyllo pastry
2 cups precooked minced beef
250 gm soft spreadable white cheese
200 gm grated cheddar cheese
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves (or)1 tbsp crushed dried mint
2 eggs + 1 cup whole milk (beaten together with salt, pepper and nutmeg)
Salt + pepper + grated nutmeg
100 gm butter + corn oil
In a medium-sized bowl, mix minced meat with cheese and parsley or mint. Incorporate well by means of a fork. Cover and leave aside. In a small casserole, melt butter and add a small amount of oil while melting. Brush base of an ovenproof pan; same size and shape as your pastry, with a thin layer of butter and oil mixture. Divide amount of phyllo sheets into two equal portions. Cover with a clean cotton kitchen towel; during preparation of the dish; lest it dries out. Layer two sheets of pastry; making sides seem like wings along the four inner sides. Brush over with butter and oil. Repeat process until the first batch of pastry is layered in pan. Top last sheet with prepared filling; to completely cover sheet evenly. Using the second half of sheets, repeat process on top of filling; without extending sheets up; but rather tucking sides of pastry sheets around the filling; to snug in; brushing to grease after every two sheets and making sure not to grease final top sheet. With a serrated sharp knife; cut phyllo pastry into 12 even squares; as illustrated. Pour egg and milk mixture on top. Swing your baking pan to and fro; while holding it by both your hands; to evenly distribute the mixture. Fold dangling sheet sides to the inside; to hold any excessive liquid from leaking out. Bake; uncovered, in a preheated oven of 200 degrees C, for approximately 25 - 30 minutes; or when top is golden. Remove from oven. Allow to slightly cool off in order to serve hot.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 28 July, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.