Last week I read this article that I think is just spot-on. Because really no food is healthy, it is all about nutrition and keeping an eye on the balance of all of it (truthfully, sometimes the scope really needs to be broadened to make up for some days, but eventually they will;)).
So in case my awesome roommate (also fiancee (!)) is a great fan of Big Macs, we are not aiming for a ‘healthy’ version of it. Nope. We are aiming for a better version. And I am calling it better because there is a lack of soggy sweet bread, because there is a deep umami flavor, there’s crunch (!) and best of all it can be eaten at a real dining table with cutlery and candles (for the win!).
The idea for this pie comes from the Flavour Thesaurus in which Signit argues that what makes a Big Mac so intriguingly good is actually the dill pickles, mustard and meat together in a sandwich. These tastes have been taken to a next level in this phyllo dough pie. I can imagine you are sceptical, but I’m not kidding when I say it’s good. 🙂
- 500 grams of good quality beef minced meat
- 4 large (salty) dill pickles (cucumbers)
- 250 grams of halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of mild dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (either homemade or storebought)
- 4 tablespoons of ajvar (or you can replace this by pureeing roasted paprikas with dried tomatoes)
- 5 large sheets of phyllo dough (for tips on buying phyllo dough)
- 1 teaspoon of butter, melted
- Brown the minced meat in a dry pan, while stirring occassionally. The meat should really get a good colour as this intensifies the flavour immensely. I would take around 15-20 minutes on a medium to high heat to achieve this. Even though it might feel scary, just really let the meat get to a point where it is almost dark brown, you'll notice a huge difference (that would also be the case for your bolognese sauce for example).
- Prepare a baking form by brushing it with the melted butter (I usually put the tray shortly into the oven with the bit of butter in it and then take it out and brush it around).
- Cover the bottom of the form with phyllo dough sheets and leave enough phyllo dough sticking out so that there is also a little 'wall' for the filling.
- Spread the mustard, tomato puree and mayonnaise on the bottom and pour on the browned meat. Divide the cherry tomatoes on top and generously spoon over the ajvar (or pureed paprikas & dried tomatoes).
- Put the form in the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes in a moderately hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing into as it will firm up slightly.