There is somethings to meat wrapped in crust that makes it a favorite food with everyone regardless where in the world. Greek cuisine is no exception. This is the Greek version of a meat pie.
Place meat in a large covered casserole dish. Add warm water and bring to a boil.
When the liquid is boiling, add onions, celery, parsley, garlic, mint, tomato sauce, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Let it boil again.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. the sauce would have become rich and thick.
Place sifted flour, 1 tsp salt, and 3 Tbs olive oil into a bowl and mix well with a fork. Add 1 egg, beaten, and stir to mix.
Gradually stir in 1-2 Tbs warm water until dough is well blended.
Knead 5-6 minutes, or until dough is firm. Cover with film and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Remove meat filling from heat. Preheat oven to 400° F (190° C)
Beat 4 eggs lightly and add grated cheese and cinnamon. Mix well and add to cooked meat mixture.
Incorporate rice and stir to mix. The filling is ready.
Divide chilled dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other, and roll each out on a lightly floured surface to 1/6 inch thickness (4 mm).
Grease a baking pan with the butter and 1 Tbs olive oil. Line with larger piece of dough. Pour meat mixture into the pan, spreading evenly.
Cover with second crust, turning the lip of the lower crust over. Crimp the edges. Brush lightly with olive oil and prick the top crust a few times with a fork.
Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Allow to stand for 15-20 minutes then cut into squares.
Do not use warm water straight from the tap. Heat instead some cold water in a saucepan or the microwave.
Prepare the crust while the meat is cooking. While dough is chilling, it will be time to remove meat mixture from heat. The crust can be prepared in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients and process until mixture forms a ball.
Make one piece of rolled dough large enough to line the baking pan, leaving half an inch lip to turn over the top. The other piece should fit the top of the pan.
If the sauce is not thick enough, remove lid from the pan and cook over a medium heat until it is reduced to the desired consistency, or add a little arrowroot, or cornstarch, mixed with water and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Substitute 1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint with 1/2 teaspoon dried mint.
If you cannot find Kefalotiri, the Greek cheese, Parmesan cheese is a good substitution.
Apart from family parties, this is a traditional dish for some Greek holidays and festivals. This meat pie is served in occasions such as Carnival or Ascension Day.
Food in Europe