Too elegant to eat: flower-shaped ground meat and cheese torte

Using ground meat to make hamburgers or a nice chunk of meatloaf gets old after awhile. Even the king of foods, the burger, needs a break sometimes. And with a little imagination and a sheet or two of filo pastry — problem solved. The result is also so gorgeous, you might not even want to eat it. But better chow down rather than let it go bad. So get out your forks and unlock your pie-holes!

You will need (for four portions): 

  • at least 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 3/4 lb ground beef or other ground meat
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 10 chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/4 cups grated cheese
  • 3 oz cubed cheese
  • 1 whisked egg

Here's how:

1. Roll out the filo pastry and use a glass (or round cookie-cutter) to cut out as many circles as you can. 

2. Now put the ground meat in a bowl and mix it well with the mustard, basil, and tomato paste, plus salt and pepper.

3. Place about a tablespoon full of the ground meat mix on 2/3 of all the circles (in the middle of each circle). Put equal portions of the grated cheese on the remaining circles. 

4. Now shape the pastry circles: fold each one over at the middle and then press the corners together, for a tortellini-shaped dumpling.

5. Finally, place the filled dumplings into a baking form, for instance a quiche form or a springform cake pan. Put one cube of cheese on top of each of the outer ring of dumplings.

6. Now baste the whole thing with the whisked egg.

7. Bake in the oven for 40 min at 375°F, with the air circulator on. When it's done, cut the torte into slices and bring the tantalizing dish straight to the table.

Here's the whole recipe on video. Caution: watching may pique your appetite in the extreme.

There's nothing boring about ground meat with a recipe like this around. Can you imagine serving the unusual, hearty torte with a side of fresh veggies or a homemade dip?

And just a tip for cooks with a sweet tooth: try filling the dumplings with applesauce, chocolate-hazelnut cream, or grandma's homemade jam — you really can't go wrong!


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