Baked Hamburger Patties (Biftekia) With Potatoes

  • by XpatAthens
  • Friday, 20 February 2015
Baked Hamburger Patties (Biftekia) With Potatoes
Bifteki is the Greek word for hamburger patty. I think it comes from the French word bifteck which literally means beef steak, but I am not entirely sure. The biggest difference to a hamburger patty is the fact that the ingredients are bound together with soaked bread. The same principle applies when you make soutzoukakia or meat balls. This particular dish, that is biftekia with potatoes in the oven, is a staple of Greek cooking and it is a very tasty, easy, everyday meal. The recipe is my mother’s and has been receiving complements for years and years now.

The secret lies in the cooking, which entirely takes place in a clay pot with lid or a similar dish, hence ensuring that the patties won’t dry out and the potatoes will become buttery soft. The tomato sauce adds a bit of flair to the meal and binds the flavours nicely together. I must warn you though that this dish is highly addictive (especially the potatoes), so make sure you have enough for seconds!

Baked hamburger patties (biftekia) with potatoes

INGREDIENTS for 3-4 people as a main dish

• 500g lean beef mince
• 3-4 slices of white bread, about a day old, crusts removed
• 3/4 from a 500ml tin of tomato pulp
• 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into thick-ish chips
• Olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper


1. To make the hamburger patties place the bread slices into a bowl of water to soak. If your bread is not old, just toast the slices a bit.
2. In a large bowl combine the beef mince, olive oil, oregano (approx. 1-2 tsp), salt, pepper, 2 tbsp mustard and the bread (squeeze out excess moisture before you use it). Knead everything together. The mixture should be neither too hard nor too soft. If it is too hard, just add s bit more water. If you can eat raw meat, taste the mixture for salt/pepper and adjust seasonings accordingly. Make six fat hamburger patties.
3. Use any type of baking dish you want, as long as it has a tight lid. Spread the potatoes at the bottom of the dish, drizzle with olive oil and season well. Place the patties on top and finish with the tomato puree, some more olive oil and a bit of water (100ml).
4. Preheat the oven to 230 C and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200 C. Open the dish, turn the patties, replace lid and continue baking for another 30 minutes. Remove lid completely and continue baking for perhaps another 20 minutes or until the patties have turned a nice brown colour and there isn’t much water left in the dish. Just make sure not to dry the patties out.
5. Let the dish stand for a bit before serving, as it comes piping hot out of the oven.