A crispy, crunchy, delicious Egyptian goulash (phyllo meat pie) with a spiced meat interior. So easy and absolutely delicious!
What is Egyptian goulash?
It’s a phyllo meat pie, made with layers of phyllo dough, with a warmly spiced meat interior. The best part is the milk/egg soak that the pie gets before baking which gives it a little gooeyness in the center. So good!
I know that there’s a very famous Hungarian stew called goulash, but this is totally different.
This is similar to Turkish meat borek, also made with phyllo dough!
What’s so good about this phyllo meat pie recipe?
It’s actually so easy to make, with a handful of ingredients. It comes out looking so impressive though, no one would ever guess how simple it is!
The dough is ready and thaws really easily, so you can get a crispy flaky pie without having to make your own dough.
It’s crunchy, crispy and golden brown on the outside, and a little softer and more moist in the middle due to the egg and milk soak that goes through the knife cuts you make.
Goulash is a hearty, filling meal that kid and adult both will enjoy. Leftovers taste great!
This is easy to adapt. Feel free to add some veggies like peas and/or corn. You can add some shredded cheese to the meat layer too, and play around with the seasoning.
What ingredients do I need to make Egyptian goulash?
Phyllo dough: Using ready made dough is so convenient for this recipe. Thaw the phyllo dough in advance, either in the fridge overnight or for several hours, or on the counter for an hour or so.
Olive oil and an onion: You can’t really have ground beef without the flavor that an onion gives!
Ground beef: I like to use lean ground beef while making this. You can use whichever type of ground beef you prefer.
Spices: Salt, pepper, all spices or seven spice, cinnamon powder and garlic powder for seasoning.
Tomato paste: This gives a nice hint of flavor to the meat.
Olive oil and melted butter: I like using a higher proportion of olive oil to butter to brush the phyllo sheets with. I’ve had a good experience of using olive oil to coat phyllo dough, like in this Easy Greek spanokopita. I recommend using the whole amount of the oil/butter wash for maximum flavor and so that the pie cooks to a beautiful golden brown. If you want, you can brush with a little more moderation to make this healthier.
Egg + Milk : These are whisked together until well blended and poured on the top of the pie.
How do I make Egyptian Goulash?
- The first step is pre-heating the oven so it’s ready to go when your pie is assembled.
- Make the meat filling by sautéing an onion in olive oil for a few minutes until soft, then adding the ground beef and cooking thoroughly until browned. Drain the fat if you like, before adding all the spices and tomato paste and cooking for a few minutes more.
- Assemble the pie. You’ll layer 2-3 sheets of thawed phyllo dough in a 9×13 inch pan at a time, brush thoroughly with the olive oil/butter mixture and repeat. You’ll use up half the sheets in the package on the bottom, then place all the meat filling on that bottom half. Continue to layer with 2-3 sheets of phyllo dough at a time, brushing in between until you use up all the phyllo sheets. Slice the pan all the way to the bottom into evenly sized squares.
- Pour the egg/milk mixture on top evenly, then bake for around 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
How do I work with phyllo dough?
Phyllo dough dries out very quickly, so while assembling, lay a damp kitchen towel over the opened pack of dough.
Don’t panic if your dough tears. You can still layer the torn sheet as best as you can, it won’t matter at all once all the layers are assembled.
Brush the olive oil/butter mixture gently on top using a pastry brush.
Cut the pie all the way through to the bottom layer of phyllo dough, because it’ll be much easier than cutting it after baking (it’ll be too crispy).
What to serve with Goulash:
You could try it with beetroot hummus as a dipping side.
You can serve this with yogurt too, which is often what I do.
Storing leftover goulash:
Leftovers will store well in the fridge for 3-4 days, tightly covered. Reheat in the oven or microwave. (Oven will work best to keep this crispy).
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
Egyptian Goulash (Phyllo Meat Pie)
For the meat mix:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1.5 lb lean ground beef 650-700g
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp seven spices or all spice
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter, melted 56 g
- 16 oz package phyllo dough, thawed 450g
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper for seasoning
For the meat mix:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C).
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the ground beef and cook, separating any clumps that form until browned and cooked through. Drain any fat over the sink before returning pan to the stove.
- Add all the spices and the tomato paste, and stir to combine well. The meat filling is ready, set aside while you assemble your pan.
- Mix together the olive oil and melted butter. Lightly brush the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Start layering. Add 2-3 sheets of phyllo dough and place on the bottom of the pan. Brush generously with the butter oil mixture, then repeat by adding another 2-3 sheets of phyllo dough on top, and brushing generously with the butter oil. Keep repeating until you are done with about 1/2 the sheets of phyllo dough in the package.
- Add the ground beef mixture to the pan and spread evenly. Continue to layer by placing 2-3 sheets on top of the ground beef, brushing generously with the butter/oil mix, repeating with another 2-3 sheets phyllo, and etc. Continue until you've used up all the phyllo sheets.
- With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into even squares or diagonals. Cut all the way through to the bottom of the pan, this will make it much easier to lift out slices once baked.
- Whisk together the egg and the milk, and add a pinch of salt and pepper to season. Pour this mix evenly over the phyllo pie.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm, preferably with a side salad or yogurt. Enjoy!