Bourek Algéroise (Algerian Fried Meat Pastry)

Bourek Algéroise (Algerian Fried Meat Pastry)

As a Filipino I grew up preparing a similar dish to Bourek called Lumpia. It’s thin crispy layers of dough wrapped around a meat filling. It’s funny how a dish can be similarly made all around the world. But on the Mediterranean the dish has primarily the same name. You can order börek in Turkey, byrek in Albania, byorek in Armenia, boureki in Greece, bourekas in Israel, burek in the Balkans, and even brik in Tunisia. And you’ll end up with a delectable fried pastry. In Algeria the pastry is made with a circular wrapper called dioule but you can easily substitute them with Chinese spring roll wrappers as they are more readily available in the US.

Bourek is a staple on the Algerian table during Ramadan. Easily pair with chorba and serve with fresh lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound minced meat (beef, chicken, lamb)
  • 10-15 wrappers
  • cheese ( I use Salvadorian frying cheese, but cream cheese, laughing cow or even sliced cheese can be used, its up to your preference.
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan saute onions, sprinkle with salt to help sweat them.
  2. Add minced meat and brown.
  3. Season with spices and add parsley.
  4. Thoroughly cook and set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool peel apart a wrapper and fill with about 2 tablespoons meat and a slice of cheese, again use your preference on cheese and how much you would like to use.
  6. Fold one side over, then the other.
  7. Begin rolling forward from the bottom and continue rolling until there is no more wrapper. You can seal with water or even egg wash but is not necessarily needed.
  8. Continue wrapping until all wrappers and meat mixture have been used.
  9. Then in a new pan heat up a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat and place bourek in pan.
  10. Fry until all sides are a golden brown.
  11. Garnish with more parsley and serve with lemon.

*You can prepare bourek in advance and freeze them. Just take them out 10 minute before frying to thaw.

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Vol au Vent Algérienne (Algerian Puff Pastry)

Vol au Vent Algérienne (Algerian Puff Pastry)

A classic French puff pastry filled with a creamy béchamel sauce spiced with an Algerian twist. These puff pastries make an amazing addition to any table but be careful as these are very rich in ingredients. It’s easy to eat one to many of these.

Ingredients:

  • 6 puff pastry shells (premade)
  • 1/2 pound minced beef
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 ounces cubed cheese (I use smoked gouda but any cheese is fine)
  • 4 ounces diced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons smen (clarified butter but pure butter can be substituted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley to garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large pan melt smen/butter over medium-low heat, making sure to not burn it.
  2. Slowly sprinkle flour and whisk rapidly, creating a heavy sauce texture.
  3. Add milk and continue to whisk. Then add cheese to melt.
  4. In another pan brown beef and mushrooms.
  5. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
  6. Drain oil from beef.
  7. Once the cheese has melted into a “béchamel” sauce like texture pour over beef and set aside.
  8. Bake puff pastry shells.
  9. Remove tops from shells and fill with beef/cheese mixture.
  10. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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