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Feteer Bel Asaag (egyptian Pastry with Ground Meat)

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 pound very lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts) optional
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package frozen Filo dough sheets (thawed)
Instructions

Saute the onion in the oil until it changes color to dark yellow. Add the meat and brown it then add the water, salt and pepper and let it cook until all the water has evaporated. If you decide to use nuts add them at this time. This is called asag and it is used in makaronah felforn bilbashamel (pasta casserole). Open the Filo dough package and divide the sheets in half (they are usually sheets of 10x20" rectangles, you want to end up with 2 stacks of 10x10 sheets. In a greased 9x12x3" baking dish layer 2 to 3 sheets at a time and sprinkle them with a few drops of the melted butter, and so on until you finish the first half of the sheets. Spread the meat and nut mixture on it and start doing the same thing with the other half of the sheets. Don't worry about spreading the butter on the sheets. When you finish with all the dough cut the feteer in 2x1" squares with a sharp knife. Mix together the left-over melted butter, the egg and the milk and a pinch of salt (not much) beat it with fork. At this point, if you want, you can wrap the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate until 1/2 hr before it is time to eat. Pour the egg mixture gently over the feteer and bake, uncovered, in a 375o oven for about 20 minutes or until the milk is absorbed and the feteer turns gold yellow.

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I'm really intrigued by this recipe. It seems pretty straightforward to make up, and it appears that it would be quite tasty. The use of almonds or walnuts is different, though I'm curious as to how it might taste with pine nuts substituted. Definitely something to consider making the next time I put together some spinach pies.

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