Sep 29, 2008


Filed under: Greek Food,beef,Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Kay @ 4:10 pm

Ever since I first set food on the beautiful island of Crete, I’ve been smitten by Greece. Fell head over heels in love with the country, the scenery, the people, the culture, the laid back mentality and definitely the superb Greek kitchen. That and Katy Garbi!

I’m a firm believer of ‘less is more‘ when it comes to cooking. Less is often much, much more. Get down to basics – good ingredients, no frills, and taste food as it was meant to taste. In Greece they have it pat down. Bifteki sure is proof of that.

Here’s how I like to make mine.


2 slices of white bread
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp mint
1 tsp salt
1 egg
Feta cheese

Optional: 1 tbsp tzaziki
Optional: garlic


Lay it all out there. It just works easier when you have everything nearby, doesn’t it?

Starting with the bread. You’ll want to use (slightly) stale bread for this. Trim the crusts and crumble it anyway you like. I always give it a few spins in my mini food processor, but I’m lazy.

Finely chop a small onion or half a medium onion. Photo is slightly out of focus, see, now that’s what happens when you hand over your camera!

Add the oregano, thyme, mint and parsley.

I’ve added a heaping tbsp tzaziki. You can also add some grated garlic or garlic powder, or just omit the garlic. Whatever makes your skirt fly up. I just like the slight tang the tzaziki gives, and how it adds just a tiny hint of garlic.

Now break an egg.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. I usually go for 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Also get your breadcrumbs in there.

Mix it all up, it’s much better to do it with your hands, things will blend better that way. You don’t mind getting your hands dirty, do you?

Cover the bowl and let the flavors incorporate for about 30 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee, go shopping or take a nap in the mean time.

I never really measure the feta I put into them. Just play it by ear. I don’t want the feta oozing out, just want it to add a hint of flavor and structure, so I cut them in small strips. See that little, lonesome piece of feta that broke off? I ate it. I also ate the feta slice on the right side of the photo.

I divided the ground beef in 4 portions and shaped them into balls. Flatten them, put a slice of feta on one half and fold the other half over. Seal the edges and be thorough or you’ll end up with a mess when cooking them.

Keep on doing it until you have as many of them as you want.

There are various ways to cook them. Use a grill -indoor or outdoor- a skillet or your oven. I combine my stove top grill with my oven, it works perfectly, they come out pretty and moist.

I lightly oiled the grill, this isn’t really necessary because ground beef doesn’t need oil and my grill is non-stick, but I used a garlic infused oil to get a little extra flavor on the outside. Don’t you just love these silicone kitchen utensils? It gave the non stick surfaces of my kitchenware a much longer lifespan, that’s for sure.

I preheated my oven to 400 (200C), and grilled the burgers. Gave them roughly 3 minutes on each side over medium heat – I only wanted to sear the meat and get those fancy grill stripes on them and transfered them to an oven dish.

Didn’t want them to brown anymore so I covered the baking dish with foil and put it in a hot oven for 30 minutes (depends on how big your patties are, of course). Check them for readiness before serving.


An abundance of color!! I like to serve them ‘Moroccan style‘. How’s that?

Well, just put everything on a big plate. Top with thinly sliced red onion, serve with pea rice, a small handful of lightly boiled snap beans, thinly sliced bell pepper and tomato slices. Also add some some lemon wedges (love to squeeze fresh lemon juice all over of my bifteki), lots of tzatziki and a Greek salad on the side. If you really want to make it an extended dinner you can also serve some gyros on the side and throw in a few french fries as well!

Kali Orexi!

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    1. 1

      What a colorful and delicious looking meal. I love Greek food and will have to give this a try. I tried you baked eggs for breakfast yesterday for just me, myself, and I. Wonderful and so nice to make for one or many. Very tasty and simple. Thanks!

      Robin Sue on Oct 1, 2008 @ 2:25 am Reply
    2. 2

      You’re welcome! This is by far my favorite Greek dish, it’s just so tasty.

      Kay on Oct 1, 2008 @ 8:20 am Reply
    3. 3

      Discovered your site a week ago (i think from the good mood food blog)…WOW is all i can say, everything looks so yum and beautifully presented and explained. Your photography is amazing. This looks so yumilicious, i shall be making it soon, i’ll let you know how it turns out. I loooove feta and brothers love beef so perfect combination :)

      Thank you x

      Asma on Oct 1, 2008 @ 1:41 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Aren’t bifteki great? I’ve never tried stuffing them with feta like you did. It sounds delicious, definitely a must-try.

      Lulu Barbarian on Oct 2, 2008 @ 6:24 pm Reply
    5. 5


      You have to give it a shot sometime, it’s an absolute match made in heaven!

      Kay on Oct 2, 2008 @ 6:28 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I stumbled upon this blog.

      The first meal I had in Greece was this, and I never bothered to ask what it was…
      I’ve been wanting to know what it was for the past 3 years, and now I do.

      It’s the spices I could never pin down.


      KS on Oct 24, 2008 @ 9:58 am Reply
    7. 7

      The colors are so vibrant!! And the photos are awesome: I’m a bit jealous ;)

      Olga on Oct 24, 2008 @ 10:08 pm Reply
    8. 8


      Just went to your blog, saw your photography and you have nothing to be jealous about :)

      Kay on Oct 24, 2008 @ 10:10 pm Reply
    9. 9

      tzaziki and real bifteki are my favourite dishes and i’m going to make it tomorrow will let you know how i get on

      iain maclean on Oct 27, 2008 @ 6:50 pm Reply
    10. 10

      What an absolute winner!!!
      This is a stunning meal and so easy to make. My 2 daughters aged 10 and 6 are avid cooks and prepared this, with me just supervising. The result was flavoursome and fantastic!

      aadila on Mar 8, 2009 @ 12:25 pm Reply
    11. 11

      This looks amazing! I’ve been looking for simple meals that are full of flavor and they are few and far between. It seems that people are leaning more towards long ingredient lists now, which is a real shame. I love how simple this recipe is so you can really enjoy all the flavors. Looking forward to trying this one out. Your photos have me hungry already!

      Wicked Weber Smokers on Nov 3, 2009 @ 6:19 am Reply
    12. 12

      Kijk, dat was de kefta die ik zocht! De feta heb ik er uit gehaald, daar houdt de man des huizes niet zo van. Maar ze waren superlekker met een vers Turks brood natuurlijk :)

      Jules on Dec 3, 2009 @ 6:27 pm Reply
    13. 13

      I just made this tonight for my husband and myself. SO GOOD. And so easy! Will def. be on the 2-3 week rotation…thanks

      Rose Courville on Jan 29, 2010 @ 4:02 am Reply
    14. 14

      That last photo had me drooling.
      I so miss the abundance of Greek restaurants and takeaways in Germany, there are very few in the UK.

      Karohemd on Aug 11, 2010 @ 1:18 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Just fyi: In Turkey, we make pretty much exactly the same mix for meatballs. We never put cheese in them, just take the meat mix, roll it into little oval shapes (not round…) fry in a bit of oil. Very Turkish.

      I’m sure this way is delicious too! I definitely want to try this.

      Merve K on Apr 7, 2011 @ 4:50 am Reply
    16. 16

      @ Merve:

      I know! I was amazed by how similar the Greek and Turkish kitchen actually is.

      Kay on Apr 7, 2011 @ 6:39 am Reply
    17. 17

      Hello Kay….i’m Zoi and i’m Greek! I have the luck to taste this usually.
      Great post…i’m impresed about your knowledge in Greek cuisine!
      I wanted to know more about Dutch food so i found your blog.
      I was in Rotterdam the previous week but i didn’t eat much dutch food!
      I’m here for any question about greek food!

      zoi on Mar 20, 2012 @ 8:51 pm Reply
    18. 18

      I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome! It was my first time making Greek food. Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try your Indonesian recipes

      Tierra on Mar 4, 2013 @ 5:06 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Well on Sunday I made Julia Child’s authentic 6 hour Beef Bourguignon for my French-loving and quasi-sick boy. Last night I made this…and THIS is the one that the boy chowed down on and went back for seconds when I haven’t been able to get him to eat well at all lately! Wow wow continually impressive recipes from you! Loving making them, they flavors are so wonderfully solid :)

      Erica on Aug 27, 2014 @ 4:01 pm Reply
      1. That sounds just like my son :)

        Kay on Aug 27, 2014 @ 4:14 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Greetings from Brisbane, Australia. We grilled these on the barbie yesterday, we used 50% lamb and 50% beef mince and served with homemade Tzatziki, they were absolutely delicious! Many thanks for this excellent recipe.

      Alex on Nov 9, 2014 @ 12:26 am Reply

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