|Kreatopita: Greek Meat and Rice Pie|
lb ground sirloin or round
Lightly brown chopped meat on medium flame, breaking up the larger clumps. Add chopped onions, cook until onion is translucent. Add parsley, salt, pepper, and mix. Add rice and mix. Add the chicken broth or water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cover. Cook for 20 minutes on low to medium flame, occasionally stir and check to see if more liquid is needed. Mixture should be moist and rice almost cooked. Let cool.
Beat two eggs with fork (reserve about a tablespoonful of beaten egg, which will be mixed with a teaspoonful cold water, and be reserved as a gouache.) Add beaten egg. If desired about one tablespoonful grated Romano cheese can also be added at this point. In a small pan melt about half the butter (do not brown. Melt more as needed. Cut phyllo sheets in half, brush one by one with melted butter Place 7-10 sheets in a 9x12-buttered pan or use 5-6 whole sheets and tuck overage around sides of pan. Pour meat and rice mixture in pan and distribute evenly. Cover mixture with 5-7 lightly –buttered whole or half sheets of phyllo. Brush top with reserved egg/water mixture. If desired, sprinkle grated Romano cheese on top. Cut pie with sharp knife horizontally and vertically to make diamond-shaped pieces. Bake in 350-375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until top is lightly browned. The best part of the recipe is that it is foolproof and versatile. Ingredients, amounts, oven temperature, baking time can all be varied and the kreatopita can be served as an appetizer, side dish or with salad as a main dish.
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