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There is a very famous Hungarian stew called goulash, but Egyptian goulash is totally different.
The Egyptian goulash (phyllo sausage & cheese pie) is crunchy, crispy and golden brown on the outside, with the sausage mixed with onions, cheese, and olives inside. And the milk/egg soak that the pie gets before baking, and goes through the knife cuts you make, gives it a little gooeyness in the centre. So easy to make and absolutely delicious! Such a must-try treat!
My son’s best friend and his mom are Egyptian, and they made an Egyptian Goulash for my son. When my son gave me a piece of this crispy, flaky phyllo pie they made, I loved it and asked for the recipe. Thanks, Michael Girgis and Mary Ishak for the recipe and delicious dish. Their recipe was stuffed with pepperoni and basturma. I adapted it using the delicious Colombian Chorizo from the DuBrazil store. Thanks, DuBrazil for the Colombian Chorizo.
This Mediterranean dish is a great breakfast, brunch, lunch or easy dinner or holiday dish with a significant wow factor!
If you have never tried your hand at working with phyllo dough before, this phyllo sausage & cheese recipe is a great start. It is the most straightforward phyllo recipe I know! It is an easy recipe that looks so impressive on your table but takes little time to put together. No one would ever guess how simple it is! You can even make it ahead of time.
Looking for more phyllo pastry recipes? You might like to try this Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie with Feta Cheese) Fast2eat
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For the Phyllo
- 1 package Phyllo pastry - 454 g/16 oz - properly thawed
- ¼ cup Butter - melted - or more if needed
- 1/2 cup Olive oil - extra virgin - or more if needed
For the Filling
- 1 Onion - chopped
- 375 g Sausage - I used Colombian Chorizo – In Canada buy it here
- 250 g Cheese - Parmesan, Romano cheese, Mozzarella, White Cheddar, Friulano
- 16 kalamata olives - or Black olives
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- Salt - to taste
- Black pepper - optional to taste
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- If your phyllo pastry was in the freezer, take it out in time for it to defrost. See notes for best results.
Sauté onion and sausage
- On medium-high heat, sauté the chopped onion, add sliced or diced sausage (I used Colombian Chorizo - in Canada buy it here) and cook until browned and cooked through. Drain any fat and reserve.
Egg and milk mixture
- Whisk together the egg and the milk, add a pinch of salt and pepper to season and reserve.
Prepare the Phyllo
- Carefully remove the phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Unroll the phyllo sheets and place them between two lightly damp kitchen cloths.
- Most packages come in 12- x 18-inch sheets when opened fully. Cut the phyllo dough depends on the size of your baking dish.
- If using a 9 X 13 baking dish, cut the sheets in half using scissors or a sharp knife to make two stacks of 9- x 12-inch sheets.
Assemble the pie
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
- In a small bowl, melt butter and combine it with olive oil.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 23 x 33cm /9×13-inch rectangular baking dish with olive oil/butter mixture.
- Layer half of the thawed phyllo sheets on the bottom of the baking dish, making sure to brush the top of each sheet thoroughly, very generously, with the melted butter and olive oil mixture.
- If using a smaller baking dish, fold any excess dough in. This part will be extra crispy!
- Spread sauteed onion with sausage (I used Colombian Chorizo - in Canada, buy it here), grated cheese, and olives filling evenly on top of the last phyllo sheet. Or stuff it however you please (see notes for variations).
- Layer the remaining phyllo sheets on top of the filling, repeating the same process before, brushing each sheet well with the melted butter and oil mixture.
- Brush the top sheet very generously with the butter and olive oil mixture.
- Fold the flaps or excess from the sides; you can crumble them a little. Brush the folded sides well with the butter and olive oil mixture.
- With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo pie into evenly sized squares. Be sure to go all the way to the bottom and go over the cuts a few times and that you cut it before putting it in the oven because it will be much easier than cutting it after baking (it will be too crispy).
- And after cutting it, pour the egg/milk mixture evenly over the pie.
- Bake it in the heated oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Be watchful so that the pie does not over bake or burn.
- Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into squares and serve warm with a side salad!
How to work with Phyllo DoughPhyllo pastry may be intimidating to some people, but I find it is pretty easy to work with. Just follow those tips:
- Thaw the phyllo dough in advance, in its package, either in the fridge overnight or for about 12-14 hours, or on the counter for an hour or so.
- Never thaw it in the microwave.
- When thawing, do not remove the phyllo from the package.
- Cover it with a damp clean towel - Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. The biggest secret to working with phyllo dough is, while assembling, to set the phyllo sheets between two very lightly damp towels (kitchen towels or paper towels). This will keep them moist and prevent them from breaking as you work to assemble the pie. As you use it, make sure to put the kitchen towel back on top.
- Important: do not soak the towel; just lightly dampen it. I just spray it.
- If phyllo sheets tear? Be gentle when handling it but do not panic if your dough tears. A few of mine ripped, and it is okay. You can still layer the torn sheet as best as you can. It will not matter at all once all the layers are assembled. For this recipe, it is no worry because the sheets will meld together when baking. I want to take care of only the last sheet, the top one. This is the one I would like for it to be one piece and not torn.
- If the edges get dry? Do not fret. It does not matter unless you are making phyllo rolls or cigars. Just take the sheets and brush with the olive oil and butter mixture. That is why I usually like to brush the edges nicely and generously, more than in the centre.
- Always cut the phyllo dough before baking. After phyllo dough bakes, it crisps up, making cutting it impossible. It is important to ensure your cuts are deep and have penetrated all the layers. Do this by going over them a few times.
Olive oil and melted butterDo not skip on "buttering" the phyllo layers. For maximum flavour and so that the pie cooks to a beautiful golden brown, make sure you brush a generous amount of the olive oil & butter mixture so that each layer is well soaked. If you want, you can brush with a little more moderation to make this healthier. If you want to stay on the healthy side, you can always adjust the mixture to have more olive oil than butter. I like using a higher proportion of olive oil to butter to brush the phyllo sheets. I have had a good experience using just olive oil to coat phyllo dough, like in this spanokopita.
Can I skip the milk/egg mixture?The milk and egg mixture helps keep the pie held together and adds great flavour. If you do not eat eggs, you can skip the eggs and just use milk. If you need to avoid dairy, you can substitute the milk with broth or chicken or vegetable stock. You will still get the rich flavour.
How many phyllo layers are on the top and bottom?It depends on how many sheets are in the package of phyllo you purchased. Half of the package should be used on the base and half on the top. Mine had 17, and I cut it, so I used 17 layers on the bottom and 17 on the top. It will provide good structure and a great crunch if yours is the same. You can use more if you like. It is all about getting the right dough to filling ratio. Just ensure that the filling is a thinner layer.
What to serve with the Pie?This is excellent with a simple salad with a tangy lemon dressing. Try it with tabule or an arugula salad. You can serve this with hummus or yogurt too.
Make aheadYou can assemble the whole pie a few days before, but do not pour the milk/egg mixture on top. Keep it well covered in the fridge. When ready to use it, pour the milk/egg mixture and then bake it.
Storing leftoverLeftovers will store well in the fridge for 3-4 days, tightly covered. Reheat in the oven. I would not use the microwave. The oven will work best to keep this crispy.
Can I freeze this pie?Yes, you can freeze the baked pie, covered tightly. When you want to eat it, thaw it at room temperature, then pop it in the oven until it is heated through and crisps up again.
How long does phyllo dough last in the fridge?If you have opened the package and refrigerated it again, it will last a maximum of 1 week when covered tightly. Unopened packages can last for a few months in the fridge if they remain sealed.
Filling variationsThis dish is easy to adapt. You can stuff in countless things between these phyllo sheets for flavours and combinations for fillings.
- The most desirable one among the Egyptian community is stuffed with Bastourma and Parmesan or Romano cheese. They also like adding bell pepper and kalamata (or black) olives.
- Pepperoni & cheese.
- Ground beef with sauteed onion. Tomato paste gives a nice hint of flavour to the meat. You can optionally add some shredded cheese or veggies to the meat layer and play around with the seasoning (Salt, pepper, all spices or seven spice, cinnamon powder and garlic powder are some options for seasoning).
- Veggie adaptation (with or without the meat): chopped mushrooms, peas, carrots, green beans, spinach (or kale), celery, and/or corn. Make sure your vegetables do not introduce extra moisture, which may make the pie soggy. To avoid this, cook them until all moisture evaporates.
Fast2eat has partnered with Dubrazil to share new and simple Brazilian recipes your family will love! This recipe was prepared with the following DuBrazil products:
Banquet Latin America Chorizo ColombianColombian Chorizo is a cured and smoked Colombian pork sausage. It is seasoned with vinegar, garlic, and paprika to a traditional Colombian flavour.
Spanish smoked paprika, either sweet or hot, gives it its deep brick-red colour and smoky flavour.
In Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, chorizo is the name for any coarse meat sausage.
In Brazil, chouriço is the word used for what in the rest of Latin America is morcilla; meat sausages similar to the chorizos of other Latin American countries are called linguiça. Many varieties of Portuguese-style chouriço and linguiça are used in many different dishes, such as feijoada. Thanks to DuBrazil for supplying the products to help me write this post today!
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Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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