Celebrate New Year's Eve with Chef Stergios Zdralis's Authentic Greek Kreatopita Recipe

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Chef Stergios Zdralis's Authentic Greek Kreatopita Recipe

Kreatopita, a traditional Greek meat pie, is a savoury delight that hails from the villages across Kefalonia. Bursting with rich flavours, this dish is not only a culinary treasure but also a cherished part of Greek traditions. Chef Stergios Zdralis, a passionate advocate of authentic Greek cuisine, shares his yiayia's recipe for this special Kreatopita.

“I remember every Christmas when I was a child at my grandmother’s house; there was the whole slow-cooked roast lamb in the middle of the table with crispy baked potatoes,” Stergios tells Greek City Times. “Then just before the New Year arrived, my grandmother would make a big tray of Kreatopita (lamb leftover) with a bunch of fresh leek from her backyard, parsley, and crumble of feta."

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Chef Stergios Zdralis's Authentic Greek Kreatopita Recipe 1

As part of the New Year's celebration, Stergios’s yiayia would hide a coin within the Kreatopita. The person who discovers the coin in their slice is believed to receive good luck and blessings for the upcoming year as a festive way for the family to come together, share a special treat, and welcome the New Year with hope and prosperity.

“She would put a cold coin inside the lamb pie, and we would see on New Year’s Eve who will be the lucky one!” says Stergios.

“Sometimes I was the lucky one to find the gold coin, but regardless, I always felt lucky anyway to taste my grandmother’s amazing lamb pie. Every Christmas, it’s on my mind - such a special memory.”

Originally from Thessaloniki, Greece, Stergios Zdralis has turned his passion for making people happy through food into a successful career. His unique take on modern Greek cuisine, blending traditional recipes with a modern twist, has earned him acclaim in Sydney, Australia. Currently leading the kitchen at Sir Joseph Banks Hotel in Mascot, Stergios continues to bring the authentic flavours of Greece to Australian diners.

Greek City Times brings to you Stergios Zdralis’s Kreatopita recipe, as handed down to him by his yia yia.

Chef Stergios Zdralis's Kreatopita Recipe

Ingredients:

- 1 kg (approximately) shredded cooked lamb leftover

- 3 leeks

- 1/2 bunch of parsley

- 1 brown onion

- 1 shallot

- 1/2 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 tsp cumin

- 1/2 tsp white pepper

- 1/2 tsp dry oregano

- Salt

- Lemon zest from one lemon

- 50 g crumbled feta

- 8 sheets filo pastry

- 2 eggs

- 50 g melted butter

- Ground nutmeg

- 50 g olive oil

Method:

1. Cut the onions, leek, and shallots into slices.

2. In a frying pan over medium heat, add 50 g of olive oil with 20 g of butter and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes.

3. Add a cinnamon stick, cumin, salt, and white pepper into the pan and mix evenly with the vegetables.

4. Shred the leftover lamb and add it to the pan with the vegetables, sautéing for 4 minutes.

5. Remove the frying pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

6. Transfer the mix into a large bowl and add 1 beaten egg, crumbled feta, dry oregano, and chopped parsley.

7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) set to fan.

8. Grease the bottom of a 36x28 cm baking tray and spread 4 filo dough sheets, drizzling them with a little olive oil.

9. Add the filling mix from the bowl and sprinkle with lemon zest.

10. Finish the pie by covering it with the remaining filo dough sheets.

11. Fold the edges inwards, grease the last filo sheet, score the pie into pieces, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

12. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

13. Remove and cool for 20 minutes. Serve with Greek yoghurt and some chili flakes.

As you embark on the culinary journey of Kreatopita, savour the rich history and tradition that Chef Stergios Zdralis brings to your table. Enjoy the delightful flavours and, who knows, you might just discover the golden coin that promises good luck and blessings for the coming year.

Visit Stergios at The Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, 1354 Botany Road, Botany NSW 2019.

BOOK YOUR TABLE HERE

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Chef Stergios Zdralis's Authentic Greek Kreatopita Recipe
Celebrate New Year's Eve with Chef Stergios Zdralis's Authentic Greek Kreatopita Recipe 3

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