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Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:50 a.m.

Spiced Beef Egg Rolls (Burek) recipe inspired by Chaldean cookbook

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

I'm working on a review of the lovely cookbook Ma Baseema: Middle Eastern Cooking with Chaldean Flair for the Washtenaw Jewish News. So, of course, I have to cook a number of recipes from it — just doing my due diligence!

The problem with this mission is that there are so, so many recipes that I want to prepare. But since Chanukkah began last Tuesday and doesn't end until tonight, a recipe using oil only seemed fitting for continued festivities.

And so I looked for a recipe that would not only let me try a new treat, but one which would also be easy to make in the midst of my various holiday preparations. How fabulous, then, to make Beef Egg Rolls from the Iraqi Christian culinary tradition and serve them for a Jewish celebration!

The original recipe didn't call for the allspice, but I thought it would make a really nice addition to the ground beef filling, both for flavor and fragrance. And I was right, I'm happy to say! Jeremy and I devoured these, hot and crisp and delicious as they were freshly fried.

Spiced Beef Egg Rolls
(Slightly adapted from a recipe for Burek by Margaret Butti)

3/4 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon allspice
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 cups oil, for frying
10 spring roll wrappers

In a large skillet, brown the beef; drain, then add the onion, salt, pepper, allspice and parsley. Cook until the onion is translucent, then place mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until very hot.

Meanwhile, prepare the egg rolls: lay one wrapper onto a countertop. Place 1/4 cup beef filling onto the center of the wrapper.

Fold the sides over the filling.

Roll the edge closest to you over once.

Fold the portion of dough closest to you over the filling, then roll up the rest of the way. Brush the last portion of dough with a bit of water to help it adhere when the egg roll is fully rolled. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Cook 3-4 egg rolls at a time for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel, continuing until all of the egg rolls are cooked.

Makes 10 egg rolls.

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.



Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

In step three 'Fold' not roll it's easier. Good tasty recipe. My friends from Iraq use allspice a lot. A little yogurt / mint sauce adds a bit freshness to the dish.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Oh, the yogurt sauce would be really lovely with these! They were exceptionally good "as is," but a little enhancement never hurts ... :)