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Borek with Hawkshead Lakeland Lager

Borek are a very simple, very tasty, little Turkish treat you can knock up in no time if you’re in the mood for something unfussy to enjoy with a few good beers.

You’ll want to make a sharp little tomato sauce to enjoy with them, and if you do this first, then that’s the main job done. Simply put about a third of a pint of Passata in a saucepan, add a swirl of Olive Oil, a dash or two of Tabasco, 2 cloves of Garlic (minced), a pinch of Salt, Sugar and a good grind of Black Pepper. Finally, add a little Basil. Stir, bring to a high simmer and then either turn off or continue simmering very, very low – depending if you want to watch it or not.

For the Borek, first make the filling. In a bowl, crumble half a block of Feta, add a few shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano or another hard, sharp cheese, a large handful of chopped, fresh Dill, a grind of Black Pepper, some chopped, fresh Mint and about 200g of Chopped Prawns. Cook the prawns first, leave to cool, and roughly chop into pieces.

You’ll need some Filo Pastry – the ready-made packs are the ticket, and each pack will have about 6 layers in it. Take 3, and lay out. Cut a long rectangle, lay the filling in the middle and then roll like a sausage. You’ll need some melted butter and a brush to hand to seal the edges, and then pinch and seal each end. It is a little fiddly, I won’t lie, but it’s worth it. Simply repeat until you’ve got nothing left.

Once all done, brush with butter, place into a hot oven (200c) and bake for about 10 minutes – they don’t take long – but once browned on one side, flip (carefully) and re-baste, then watch again. When the pastry is gold, you’re done. If you want – and can – then you could deep-fry these.

You’ll be surprised how much flavour is packed into these little cigars. Crisp pastry, then soft, salty cheese, with little nuggets of Prawn within – and the Dill goes so well with those flavours. Don’t like Prawns? Then leave them out, and just have cheese.


To drink, something light and crisp will do the trick – Hawkshead’s Lakeland Lager (5%abv). fits the bill. Spritzy, gold in hue and with a vaguely peppery, green note on the nose, the body is zingy with lemon and lime with a little tangerine as it finishes. It maintains a good, malty-biscuit body. It’s simply too easy to drink, and maintains good flavour when chilled. Buy more than one – you’ll need them. Serve with the dip, some good music and conversation, and pour yourself a beer.

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