Brunch Borek

Breakfast Borek


If you’ve got a copy of my book – no pressure – you might have read in the acknowledgements my thanks to all ‘The Lads’ at Offmore Road Garage. They look after my black cab and are very good at doing that little bit extra at no extra charge, like picking it up/dropping it off, topping up the screen washer, jump-starting it when I’ve forgotten to turn off one of the interior lights *ahem*. They’re also willing taste-testers and consumers of bakes in general if I have made too much to cope with at home.

Several recipes both here and in the book (still not got a copy? It’s fine. Really. *sulks*) have been given their collective thumbs up; all the Sausage Inna Bun ideas, Cheese and Sausage Breakfast Scones [in the book], Eliza Acton’s Mince Pies Royale and Filo Mincemeat Cigars to name but a few. These last were voted favourite of all the different mince pie variations, so I got to pondering what else could be done in a similar vein, and here we are.

I love some texture to a dish, and with filo pastry, it’s crunch all the way. Savoury breakfast/brunch items are always popular with The Lads, so here’s a deliciously different way to combine the two. Basically, it’s omelette wrapped in pastry, but seeing as I love a bit of alliteration in a recipe title, I’ve decided to name them after the savoury cigar-shaped pastries from Turkey – Börek, Burek etc.

I also tried a version with just ham and cheese, but by using cheddar and without anything else to ‘bulk out’ the filling, it just melted into a cheesy puddle. A better choice would have been feta or goat’s cheese, or even cheese in the omelette, wrapped in ham. Potatoes and egg are also surprisingly great together, so a potato omelette would be both filling and satisfying. If you decide to experiment, do let me know of any winning combinations 😀

Brunch Borek

For the omelette:
100g lean smoked bacon, cut into small dice
30g unsalted butter
6 large eggs
ground white pepper

  • Melt the butter and gently cook the diced bacon until just cooked. I use my 24cm saute pan, which makes the omelette slightly thicker than usual
  • Whisk the eggs with the pepper and add to the pan with the bacon.
  • You want to make a thick omelette, so as the edges of the egg mixture cook, use a spatula to draw the edge towards the middle. The cooked egg will fold very artistically, and the still-liquid egg will run into the space left behind.
  • Make sure in the drawing-in of the egg, that the bacon doesn’t all pile up in a heap – you want it to be distributed evenly throughout the omelette.
  • When there’s no more liquid egg to draw in, put a cover on the pan and turn off the heat. The residual heat should be enough to just cook any remaining ‘jiggly’ egg without overdoing it.
  • Let the omelette get cold.


To make the Borek
1 pack filo pastry [1]
60g unsalted butter, melted

  • Cut the cold omelette into strips 2-3cm wide and of a similar length – i.e. about 5cm shorter than the width of the filo sheet. Don’t worry if you don’t have 12 strips, you can use offcuts to make up the number required.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Dampen a tea towel with cold water.
  • Open the packet of filo pastry and lay the pastry flat upon the work surface.
  • Lay the damp tea towel over the pastry sheets.
  • Warm the butter until melted.
  • Take one sheet of filo pastry and lay it on the work surface. Re-cover the rest of the sheets with the cloth to prevent them from drying out.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted butter over the filo sheet. A silicone pastry brush is ideal, as the bristles don’t soak up the butter as much as a traditional brush, so the amount of butter on the pastry remains very light.
  • Lay one strip of omelette along the short end of the filo sheet, as if making a sausage roll.
  • Roll the pastry around the omelette once, until the filling is covered by a single layer of pastry.
  • Fold the sides of the pastry sheet inwards about 2cm, making two strips of folded pastry down the long sides of the sheet of filo, and covering the ends of the roll.
  • Dab a little melted butter onto the folded edges.
  • Roll the rest of the pastry around the filling.
  • Set the completed ‘cigar’ aside, with the seal underneath.
  • Repeat until all the filo sheets are used up.
  • Set the cigars onto a baking sheet covered with baking parchment.
  • Brush lightly with butter to glaze.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Turn the baking sheet around halfway through cooking to ensure even colouring.
  • Cool the pastries on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm.
  • Cut each cigar in half, on the diagonal, and serve a pot of ketchup/relish/salsa alongside.

Make Ahead Tip: Make and bake the pastries the night before and cool on a wire rack. The pastry will soften overnight, but in the morning, put the rack into a cold oven and turn the heat to 200°C, 180°C Fan. After 5-6 minutes the pastries will be warmed through and fabulously crisp again. Enjoy!

[1] I used Sainsbury’s own label flo, which has 12 sheets. Jusrol has fewer but larger sheets, so I’d cut them in half to use.


4 Comments on “Brunch Borek”

  1. Jenna says:

    Ya know…. (looks suspiciously into the dark corners of the kitchen for hidden cameras) if you ARE going to somehow stalk my cooking plans, you COULD at least cough for something to let me know you are there in the shadows. At least turn on the kettle or something so we can have a cup of tea while things bake… if you AREN’T in the house hidden (and I would have thought Pandora or at least Harlequin would have ratted you out, they are usually pretty good at spotting visitors) you are at least beginning to develop some seriously disconcerting kitchen ESP. My grocery list for the morning has been built for a week, and it’s all based on the grand scheme of finally tackling and hopefully conquering homemade gluten free filo (as, here in the States at least, there isn’t yet such a thing as storebought GF filo anywhere) because I’ve been hungry for the mincemeat cigars ever since I read about them. Looks like I now have an even better reason to get to grips with the pastry – my husband just wandered by, saw these borek’s and yipped a ‘please!?!’ at me. Well, at least I’ll have a variety to play with to keep me motivated! These look amazing. And no sulking, even here in the wilds of America folks are finding and buying your book. Just get cracking on your next please, I’ve already got a space on the shelves set aside for your future creations.

    • MAB says:

      Ha! Dearest Jenna – I love your comments – always so much fun to read. Spookily enough, we’ve given up gluten in this house for Lent (with Sunday feast days being days off). Even as I was putting this together, I thought: I wonder if Jenna has a gluten-free filo source/recipe? So I’ll be very interested to hear of your progress, because both hubby & I feel that gluten, even in moderation, does not agree with us. M-A 😀

      • Jenna says:

        If you find you have to go gluten free, please don’t hesitate for even a second to give me a yell. I was diagnosed with celiac almost 5 years ago and if I can save anyone else some of the brain strain and absolute clunkers I had at the beginning, then maybe it won’t have been a waste. (Although, to be fair – you lot in the UK seem to have a far better handle on the whole mess then here in the States. We don’t even have a legal standing for what counts as gluten free!) One small thing though – if you and your hubs are finding problems with gluten and decide you want to find out for certain if you have celiac or are instead ‘just’ gluten intolerant, keep eating wheat until you can get your doctor to schedule a blood test and a colonoscopy – the test results will never be true after giving up wheat and if it matters to know for certain, its easier to eat ‘normally’ now, get tested, THEN give it up if required then to give it up, start to feel better, have to go back to eating gluten for 6 weeks for the test and make yourself seriously ill and miserable for the slog through. I’m tackling the filo in the morning and will be sure to let you know how it works out.

  2. JR says:

    I’ve just found your blog, gone through it from the beginning to the latest post, and I absolutely cannot wait to cook my way through your recipes! Thank you, thank you for such lovely, detailed posts.

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