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MICHAEL SYMON Spiced Beef Cigars

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion (peeled, roughly chopped)
1 red bell pepper (seeded, roughly chopped)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, roughly chopped)
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup parsley (finely chopped)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
6 sheets phyllo
8 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
2 lemons (zested, juiced)
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat a large saute pan over high heat and add olive oil. Add the ground beef, break it up, and cook until deep golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and pulse until finely minced. Add the onion mixture, pine nuts and cumin to the beef mixture, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften and become aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.
To Assemble: Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and cut it in half widthwise. Brush with melted butter and add 1/2 cup of the beef mixture in a thin line down the side closest to you. Fold the phyllo over and roll up tightly into a long thin cigar. Brush with additional butter and place the cigars on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling and phyllo. Place in the oven to bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Cut the cigars into 3 pieces each and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
For the Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, add the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil, and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Toast the pine nuts in a dry saute pan until golden for added flavor!

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