International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Bosanski Burek

Bosanski Burek (Bosnian ground beef meat pie)

(Bosnian ground beef meat pie)

Average: 4.6 (12 votes)

Savory fillings baked in a thin pastry dough are popular throughout southeastern Europe, a legacy of the Ottoman Empire. They go by a variety of names — börek, bourek, böreği, bouréki. The Bosnian version, burek, is an easy ground beef meat pie rolled up into a snail-like form.

4 to 6 servings



  • Flour -- 2 cups
  • Warm water -- 1/2 cup
  • Melted butter or olive oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Egg, beaten -- 1
  • Salt -- 1 teaspoon

Meat Filling

  • Ground beef -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Onions, minced -- 3
  • Eggs, beaten -- 2
  • Paprika -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Melted butter or olive oil -- 1/2 cup


  1. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the flour, warm water, melted butter or olive oil, egg and salt until it comes together in a doughy mass. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to bring the ingredients together.
  2. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix together the ground beef, onions, eggs, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth and set aside.
  4. Remove the rested dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a large rectangle. Place floured fists underneath the dough and gently pull sections of the dough out to form a very thin rectangle about 2 feet by 3 feet (60 cm x 90 cm). Take care not to tear holes in the dough. If you do, pinch them together. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes or so to dry out a little.
  5. Brush the pastry dough all over with melted butter or olive oil. Place a row of the meat filling along the longer edge of the rolled out pastry dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Bring the bottom of the pastry up over the meat filling and roll it up into a long sausage-shaped roll.
  6. Lay one end of the roll onto the middle of a greased baking pan. Carefully wrap the remainder of the pastry roll around itself to form a snail-shaped pie in the middle of the baking pan. Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter or olive oil.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through and golden-brown. Cut into wedges and serve with a large dollop of good yogurt.

Bosanski Burek Variations

  • You can use commercially produced filo dough if you are intimidated by making your own. Use single sheets to make single servings.
  • Substitute 1/2 pound ground veal or 1/2 pound grated potatoes for 1/2 pound of the ground beef.
  • Sirnica (Cheese burek): Pronounced "SEER-nit-sah." For the filling, use a mixture of feta (1 pound) and ricotta (1/2 pound) cheese, 2 eggs and pepper.
  • Zeljanica (Spinach and cheese burek): Pronounced "zel-YAH-nit-sah." For the filling use 2 pounds of frozen spinach, 1/2 pound feta cheese, 2 eggs, salt and pepper. Thaw the spinach and squeeze it dry before mixing with the remaining ingredients. Or try using chopped sorrel in place of some of the spinach.
  • A few tablespoons of chopped dill or parsley can add nice flavor to your burek.


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