American Lamb Borek with Apricots and Pistachios

Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time


Lamb filling:
● 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● 1 small onion, diced
● 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
● 1 pound ground American lamb
● 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
● 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
● 1 teaspoon ground coriander
● 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
● 1 teaspoon ground paprika
● 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
● 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
● 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
● 2 tablespoons tomato puree
● 1/4 cup water
● 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried apricots
● 1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios

● 1 egg
● 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
● 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
● 12 sheets filo pastry
● 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Cook the onions and garlic:
Set a large skillet over medium high heat then add the olive oil. Add the onions
and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

2. Cook the lamb:
Add the lamb to the skillet and break it up into small pieces. Season with salt.
Brown the lamb until nearly all the pink is gone, about 4 minutes. Add the
spices and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add water, apricots
and pistachios and cook for 2-3 minutes longer until reduced.
3. Prepare the yogurt wash:
In a small bowl whisk together the egg along with 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2
tablespoons melted butter and 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin it out slightly. It
should be roughly the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside.

4. Prepare the filo:
Preheat your oven to 400*F. Generously butter a pie pan.
On a clean counter open the filo dough and unroll it. Place a layer of filo on a
clean and dry surface, the long side closest to you. Cover the remaining
dough with a lightly damp towel. Brush a light layer of the yogurt wash on the
filo sheet then top with another layer of filo. Repeat this step until you have four
layers of filo.
5. Fill and shape:
Brush the yogurt mixture onto the filo then add 1/3 of the room temperature
lamb mixture along the bottom edge of the filo. Gently mound up the meat so
that it is about 1-inch thick then gently roll up into a long log. Carefully place
this around the inner edge of the pie pan.
Repeat this process two more times making a total of three logs. To create a
spiral shape in the pan, tuck the ends of one of the rolls into the other then
continue to wrap them around until the pan is filled.
6. Bake:
Brush the pastry with the remaining melted butter and top with the sesame
seeds. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is deeply golden.
7. Cool and Serve:
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving with more yogurt.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature
parameters Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest