Turkish cuisine has a whole raft of börek recipes – pastries of all shapes and sizes. We love to explore with all the different fillings and ways of presenting the final product. For this börek recipe, we’re going to be making the famous tepsi böreği…
What Is Tepsi Böreği?
Tepsi means ‘tray’ and börek is a pastry. So, what we’re going to be making is a ‘tray pastry.’ A filo pie, if you like. Because the pastry used for Turkish tepsi böreği is yufka pastry.
We buy ours from our local ‘yufkaçı’ and it’s sold in huge circular ‘leaves.’ When it’s freshly made that day, it’s a joy to work with. In Greece, of course, the equivalent of yufka pastry is filo (or phyllo). This is the Greek phonetic translation of ‘leaf.’ Hence the different spellings.
A Choice Of Fillings
So, tepsi böreği is a tray bake made up of various layers of leaves of yufka pastry and layers of filling of your choice.
Perhaps the most common filling is a spinach and feta börek. But, for this particular recipe, we’re having a mixed vegetable and mince meat filling. Sebzeli kıymalı tepsi böreği.
Meat is one of our favourite fillings for börek. Whenever we order gözleme (saç böreği), we always ask for a meat and potato filling. Mince meat and yufka pastry just pair so well together.
How To Make Tepsi Böreği
The filling for our tepsi böreği or filo pie actually came about because we had a few odds and ends in the fridge.
It was originally going to be a mince meat and onion filling but then I found a few chestnut mushrooms, just a handful of spinach leaves and some frozen ‘garnitür’ (garden peas, diced potato and diced carrot). It was all awkward amounts that weren’t enough for separate meals – perfect for a tepsi böreği filling, however.
Experiment With Tepsi Böreği Fillings
You can play around with herbs and spices for your meat filling. We use a bit of pul biber (chilli flakes), obviously. Sweet paprika goes in the mix, a bit of ground cumin and also a sprinkling of baharat. If you can’t get baharat, a tiny bit of ground cinnamon will do the trick.
Tepsi & Yufka Time
Once you have done your meat filling, this is where the tepsi (your oven tray) and the börek (your yufka pastry) join the party. It’s all about layering and alternating between yufka leaves and filling.
First of all, though, you need to make a mixture that you are going to brush over each layer.
In a bowl, mix an egg, around 50 mls of milk and the same of sunflower oil. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can can also add a knob of melted butter, too.
Build Your Tepsi Böreği
Now we’re going to lay our first layer of yufka in our oven tray. Your yufka will fall over the sides of the tray but don’t worry about that. Leave it there, spilling over. With a pastry brush, brush a generous amount of the egg mix over the top.
Then you take your second leaf of yufka and tear it into four rough pieces. Layer them over the top of your first layer in a crumpled fashion. Brush this with a generous amount of your egg mix again.
Then we’re going to visit our meat filling again. Sprinkle half of your meat over the yuka and spread it out evenly. Tear your next piece of yufka into four and crumple those over the top of your meat so that it’s covered. And again, paint the egg mix over the top.
And then we go back to our meat filling and spread that evenly over the top of the yufka. And then another piece of yufka torn into four pieces and crumpled over the top of your meat.
Then we brush that and this time, we take a whole sheet of yufka and place that over the top in crumpled fashion. And now we just bring those loose ends in from our first piece of yufka and fold those over the top.
Brush the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle some caraway seeds over the top. Then it’s into the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for around 20 minutes until your tepsi böreği is golden brown.
Mmmm, and now you can enjoy your sebzeli kıymalı tepsi böreği. Right after we’ve listed the ingredients and the method.
Sebzeli Kıymalı Tepsi Böreği Recipe – Ingredients & Method
- 300g minced beef
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 handful spinach leaves
- 1 handful chopped chestnut mushrooms
- 1 handful garnitür (garden peas, diced potato, diced carrot)
- 1 tsp salça (tomato paste)
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp baharat
- Salt and pepper to season
- Sunflower oil for frying
- 5 sheets yufka pastry
- 1 egg
- 50 mls milk
- 50 mls sunflower oil
- Knob of butter, melted (optional)
- Heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan and add your onion.
- Saute until the onions start to sweat and then add your meat.
- As your meat starts to brown and release its juices, add your mushrooms, spices and salt and pepper.
- Cook on a medium heat until your mushrooms start to soften.
- Now add your spinach and garntür and stir into the meat.
- Add your salça along with a splash of water and stir in, just to loosen your mixture.
- Remove the pan from the heat and place to one side.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Mix your egg, milk and oil (and butter, if using) into a bowl.
- Brush your oven tray with sunflower oil.
- Take one sheet of yufka and place that in your oven tray leaving the excess to flow over the sides.
- Brush the yufka generously with your mixture.
- Take your second sheet of yufka and tear it into four pieces.
- Lay that inside the tray in a crumpled fashion and brush generously with your mixture.
- Now take half of your meat filling and spread that evenly over the top of the yufka inside the tray.
- Take your third piece of yufka, tear into four and lay it over the top of the meat, leaving crumpled bits.
- Again, brush with the mixture before adding the second half of your meat filling and spreading evenly.
- Take your 4th sheet of yufka, tear into four and arrange over the top of your meat before brushing the yufka with the egg mix.
- Now take your final piece of yufka and this time, leave it whole. Place over the top of the tray, crumpled, so that it sits inside the tray without spilling over the edges.
- Now fold in the edges from your first piece of yufka, letting them lie over the top.
- Paint the rest of your mixture over the top of your 'filo pie' and sprinkle with caraway seeds.
- Place into the centre of your oven and bake for around 20 minutes until your yufka pastry goes golden.
- After removing your tepsi böreği from the oven, cut into squares of around 10 cms and serve.
Other famous börek fillings include spinach, feta (beyaz peynir) potato and green herbs.
Turkish garnitür (mixed vegetables) is already cooked so it doesn't need to be added earlier in the process.
You can use any vegetables you like for your sebzeli kıymalı tepsi böreği.
Of you're just using minced beef and onion as a filling for your tray bake, use 500g beef.
When you remove your sebzeli kıymalı tepsi böreği from the oven, you need to cut it up to serve it. In Turkish börek shops (börekçi), they make their tepsi böreği in huge trays and the börek is cut into square servings with a large blade.
For us, our oven is quite small, and so is our oven tray as a result. We cut our tepsi böreği into 9 square slices.
You can enjoy your tepsi böreği on its own, as part of a Turkish breakfast – or you can make a bigger meal with it and serve it with a salad such as a refreshing shepherd’s salad.
This sebzeli kıymalı tepsi böreği recipe is in the börek section of our Turkish recipe collection. You’ll also find perhaps the most famous of Turkish börek recipes in this section: sigara böreği, aka cheese rolls.
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