2 September 2008

Bifteki Yemista: Stuffed Burgers with Feta & Herbs

What's in a name?

As you can see we couldn't wait to dig in no matter what this dish is called!!!!I had read that this is often translated in Greek restaurants as "steak". But while it is definitely made of beef it is more of a burger than a steak....although what about Salisbury Steak which is also made of ground beef? I am also told that this is not the case so I'll go back to being confused...wink...wink...

I do know that "Yemisto" is Greek for "filled" or "stuffed". Take away the feta cheese, and you have just bifteki.

It is not quite a burger and not a steak burger because this requires a bun....at least in my humble opinion....which leads to more confusion...insert photo of Val scratching her head here. The bottom line is I will have to have the opinion of my Greek friends for this one because I also sometimes see it as biftekia with an "a" as well. (I am a little less consfused thanks to my blog sister Ivy who tells me biftekia is plural..yay I can have more than one!!!!!)

Nevertheless...whatever you want to call it...or not... it is a wonderful addition to any meal!!!!! I will stick to "Stuffed Burger with Feta and Herbs".....Val's translation.

The recipe calls for grilling but the bifteki can be cooked on the stovetop as well. It's the perfect meal for the last few warm summer evenings of the season.

**Stuffed Burgers with Feta & Herbs (Biftekia Yemista)**

2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 medium onion, grated or minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs
1/2 pound of feta cheese, finely diced
1 tablespoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup of spring onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Yogurt Feta Sauce

1 cup of strained yogurt
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Work together by hand until well blended. Form into 12 thin patties.
In a small bowl, combine the feta, parsley, spring onions, and garlic, and stir until well blended.

Using 1/2 of the filling mixture place a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the middle of 6 of the meat patties. Place the remaining 6 patties on top, pinching around the edges to seal well.

Mix the remaining 1/2 of the stuffing mixture with 1 cup strained yogurt asndf 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill the burgers over medium coals for 6-10 minutes per side and serve with the herb yogurt.

Alternative cooking method: Heat 2 T of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet and cook the burgers over medium heat for 6-10 minutes, testing for doneness.

Serves 6

I also saw a similar bifteki on the blog Porcini Chronicles . Check it out. You will be glad you did!!!!!!!!! Best Blogger Tips


  1. Hey Val...I love these simple burgers & more than anything else, I love the intriguing names they have. It's amazing how criss-crossed Mediterranan & Middle-eastern cuisine is. I made almost similar stuff a few days ago...they weren't stuffed, but had yogurt within, which was new for me. These look ready to be dived into!! Very yummy!!

  2. Really love these burgers! and I love feta!! yummy! Gloria

  3. These "burgers" look great. I'll eat these between a bun or rice -- doesn't matter to me! ;)

  4. Thank you for the Greek lesson :) And especially for the recipe. We make a lot of burgers, but I've never had them stuffed. I have all the ingredients too. Yay!

  5. So I met this Armenian guy in a club in Vegas and we spent the whole night exchanging recipes. I swear he told me about a Japanese dish just like this.

  6. This looks great! Do you always eat your burger without a bun? I do, I have always hated buns for some reason. So now I buy buns to plate the food for the pictures, snap the pic, and snatch the burger and veggies out and eat them... the things we do for these food blogs!

    Anyway, I love the idea of a stuffed burger! And I loved the lesson in Greek naming, so great. Thanks!

  7. I need to stop reading your blog at night!

  8. That sounds/looks scrumptious and flavorful! A wonderful dish!



  9. this is an all-time grill favorite in tavernas - nice choice of herbs

  10. Well these def are biftekia Val! And what beautiful ingredients you chose to stuff them with!

  11. This sounds easy to make and looks delicious!

  12. Val,
    That looks more than delicious. I'm kind of hungry now and looking at that meat with all the feta spilling out is just so tempting!

  13. I think burgers need buns too - but I would happily eat this on it's own merits - whatever the name!!

  14. Val, I haven't seen the recipe before here in Greece. We usually stuff biftekia (plural) with sticks of graviera cheese or just before the bifteki is ready we add a slice of kaseri chesse until it starts melting. I haven't made stuffed biftekia for ages now and thanks for reminding me of them. However, I love your version and will definitely try them. Biftekia are named after the French word bifteque and we usually translate them as burgers and not steaks.

  15. This looks great. We love feta cheese - and in a burger - hubby would be in heaven.

  16. Hot Garlic: When I follow a low carb diet I eat my burgers without the bun...but the low carb diet also has me eating no potatoes...so it's definitely not for me...wink...wink...
    Thanks Ivy I can always count on you to make me less confused in translation and from what I have read.Biftekia is plural...so I can have more than one burger!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Oh my word - burgers stuffed with feta! Now is that a wonderful idea or what?! Definitely bookmarking these!

  18. However you translate it - it looks delicious!

  19. This recipe SO has my name on it, Val. YUM!!!!

  20. The boys would enjoy this meal. I don't eat red meat myself.

  21. Hello and YUM! These look great Val!

  22. Wow, You eat good! Who wouldn't want top come home to that, after a hard days work!

  23. Those burgers are fantastic Val and with feta cheese doesn't get any better than this!

    Rosie x

  24. wonderful recipe Val,feta with the burgers sounds good.

  25. That looks like a tasty meal! I like that you served the burger without a bun and all covered in that sauce.

  26. Delicious Val. I love biftekia. I always just think of them as a big kefteda. When I think "steak" in Greek, I think brizola. At any rate, whatever you call it, it's downright delicious and your yemisto version looks perfect!

  27. My mouth is watering!

  28. Damn good. Made it last night.

    Added a whole mess of spices to the yogurt sauce and then used it as dip after the meal.

  29. Hi Val! I just made these today for Lunch for Taste&Create!! They we fantastic! My son kept asking for more and even asked me to take a picture of his meal - and coming from him that's a HUGE compliment b/c he only asks for me to take pictures for his favorite things so he can look at them later (mostly pictures of cars).

    Thank you for the delicious flavors. Oh, and it was SOOOO hard to pick just one recipe.. I think I may be making a few more recipes just because. I wish you were my neighbor!


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