Kefallinian Spicy Meat Pie Recipe
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1 sm Leg of lamb
– boned, cut into 1″ pieces,
– bones reserved
1 Lemon (juice only)
1/4 c Oil or butter
1 Onion; chopped
3 md Potatoes; parboiled in their
– jackets, peeled & diced
1 lg Carrot; parboiled, diced
3 c Parboiled white rice;drained
2 tb Tomato puree
1 c Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c Chopped fresh parsley
2 Sprigs fresh mint; chopped
1 ts Dried oregano
1 Garlic clove; sliced
1 ts Ground cinnamon
1 Orange or lemon peel
– cut into pieces
Salt & freshly ground pepper
16 Commercial filo sheets
6 tb Butter (or more); melted
3 Hard-boiled eggs; quartered
On the island of Kefallinia in the Ionion Sea, the
Feast Day of Analipseos (Ascension Day) is celebrated
with the traditional “kreatopita” (meat-pie). This
spicy pie also ushers in the beginning of Lent on the
day of Apokreas.
In a stock pot, cover the lamb bones with cold water.
Simmer, covered for 1 hour. Strain, boil down to 1
cup, and set aside. Sprinkle the lemon juice on the
lamb cubes. Heat the oil or butter in a heavy pan, add
the onions and lamb, and saute the meat on all sides
until the onions are soft without browning. Pour the
onions, lamb, and juices into a large bowl. Add the
diced potatoes and carrot, rice, tomato puree, cheese,
parsley, mint, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, and fruit
peel and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add enough reserved lamb broth for liquid while pie
bakes, then mix with a wooden spoon.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 x 3 inch pan.
Spread 8 filo sheets, brushing the melted butter in
between the sheets, making sure the pastry fits the
sides and bottom of the pan. Pour in the filling,
spreading evenly with a spatula. Place the egg
quarters here and there across the top and cover with
the remaining filo sheets, brushing with butter as
before. Flute the edges with two fingers or a fork and
brush the top with butter. Using a sharp knife, score
the top 3 filo sheets into square or diamond shapes,
or prick the homemade pastry with a fork. Bake for 40
to 50 minutes in moderately slow oven (325 F), raising
the temperature to 350 F during the last 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let stand on a rack for 15
minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand on a rack
for 15 minutes. Cut into diamonds or squares and serve