It’s a good time to show you this improved recipe for northern Greek BIFTEKI since it’s my dad’s 85th birthday this weekend and he’s healthy, strong and happy and with the appetite of a young man ! My family back in Montreal will probably be having a few people over to celebrate with lots of preparations and I know they’ll be serving this too. This post is my way of participating from far away !
I’ve shown you this before but finally reworked it with my mom’s and uncle’s expertise since they make it best, even if we all have the same recipe but perhaps not the identical ingredients. Incorporating some lamb meat into the mixture and a few extras make it even better !
It seems too simple to be this surprisingly delicious, and yet it is.
As I’ve said before, it’s a meat patty but not to be slapped inside a bun and covered with cheese or sauces like a hamburger or sandwich. It’s eaten like a piece of grilled meat with some side dishes. It needs to be kneaded very well until it becomes a smooth paste and chilled before shaping into disk patties because it remains quite dense and smooth after being cooked and doesn't crumble. It’s usually quite flat and large but I’ve made smaller versions here but whatever size you decide upon, just remember that it need to stay simple and honest. No onions, herbs or garlic, just condensed milk, egg, flour, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, baking powder and olive oil.
My variations, to give it a more barbecued flavor, if you are oven-baking them is to use toasted flour in the mixture that you make in a dry frying pan with flour and heat at medium-high heat and keep stirring until the flour darkens and smells nutty and simply store in a jar until needed. I also use smoked salt for the same reason. Otherwise, the rest is the same, but ideally, try to flatten them even more in the middle so they stay flat instead of doming upwards while cooking (as mine do sometimes).
And that’s it.
Happy Birthday to my wonderful BABÀ and as we say in Greek : “NA TA EKATOSTÌSIS”, which means may you live to be 100 ! … :)