Ingrients & Directions

1 sm Leg of lamb
– boned, cut into 1″ pieces,
– bones reserved
1 Lemon (juice only)
1/4 c Oil or butter
1 Onion; chopped
3 md Potatoes; parboiled in their
– jackets, peeled & diced
1 lg Carrot; parboiled, diced
3 c Parboiled white rice;drained
2 tb Tomato puree
1 c Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c Chopped fresh parsley
2 Sprigs fresh mint; chopped
1 ts Dried oregano
1 Garlic clove; sliced
1 ts Ground cinnamon
1 Orange or lemon peel
– cut into pieces
Salt & freshly ground pepper
16 Commercial filo sheets
6 tb Butter (or more); melted
3 Hard-boiled eggs; quartered

On the island of Kefallinia in the Ionion Sea, the Feast Day of Analipseos
(Ascension Day) is celebrated with the traditional “kreatopita”
(meat-pie). This spicy pie also ushers in the beginning of Lent on the day
of Apokreas.

In a stock pot, cover the lamb bones with cold water. Simmer, covered for
1 hour. Strain, boil down to 1 cup, and set aside. Sprinkle the lemon
juice on the lamb cubes. Heat the oil or butter in a heavy pan, add the
onions and lamb, and saute the meat on all sides until the onions are soft
without browning. Pour the onions, lamb, and juices into a large bowl. Add
the diced potatoes and carrot, rice, tomato puree, cheese, parsley, mint,
oregano, garlic, cinnamon, and fruit peel and season with salt and freshly
ground pepper. Add enough reserved lamb broth for liquid while pie bakes,
then mix with a wooden spoon.

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 x 3 inch pan. Spread 8 filo
sheets, brushing the melted butter in between the sheets, making sure the
pastry fits the sides and bottom of the pan. Pour in the filling,
spreading evenly with a spatula. Place the egg quarters here and there
across the top and cover with the remaining filo sheets, brushing with
butter as before. Flute the edges with two fingers or a fork and brush the
top with butter. Using a sharp knife, score the top 3 filo sheets into
square or diamond shapes, or prick the homemade pastry with a fork. Bake
for 40 to 50 minutes in moderately slow oven (325 F), raising the
temperature to 350 F during the last 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and
let stand on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand on
a rack for 15 minutes. Cut into diamonds or squares and serve warm.