Monday, January 4, 2010

Another Russian classic

So here comes another one of my mothers recipes and a Russian holiday classic. My mom made these (my role was shamefully minor, I took pictures and helped in assembling the pies) lovely minced meat and yeast-dough pies over the holidays. As I've explained before, Russian cuisine (as a clever rouse to keep the ladies in the kitchen and out of every other aspect of life) takes making things from scratch to new extremes. Really, you can't go further than that if you don't grow your own crops and slaughter your own pigs and that would be in the realms of agricultural blogging anyway.

So here there are - pork and chanterelle mince pies with broth (Venepärased liha ja seenepirukad puljongiga):
serves 8 twice

For the yeast-dough:
200 ml milk
42 g pressed fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp sugar
100g butter
flour (my mom was unable to identify the exact quantity)

For the filling:
1 kg pork (thigh meat, no fat)
~200 g sautéed (with butter) chanterelles (we used the ones we had picked, sautéed and frozen in the summer). If using fresh chanterelles you'll probably need about 500 g. And some salt and butter for sautéing.
3 large onions
2 bay leaves
black pepper
a knob of butter or 2 tbsp of oil for sautéing onions
2 egg-yolks for brushing.

Put the meat in a large pot, cover with water, add some black pepper, salt and the bay leaves and boil until tender. Fish the bay leaves out and keep the broth.
Melt the butter and set aside.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until warm (not hot and far from boiling, otherwise you'll kill the yeast). Crumble in the yeast and add the 1 tsp of salt and the 1.5 tbsp of sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Add the butter and stir.
Add a handful (about 3 tbsp ) of flour, stir, cover and set aside to rise for the first time.
After it has risen, stir it and mix in the rest of the flour, knead, add flour. You need a dough that can be rolled with a pin and then cut into circles and knitted into pies between your hands. But you want as little flour as you can manage, then the pies will be more tender.
Now cover the dough again and set it aside to rise for the second time.
In the mean time chop the onions and fry the chanterelles with some butter and the onions if you're using fresh mushrooms. If you have sautéed ones just sauté the onions with some butter or a little bit of oil until glossy.

Also, while the dough is still rising, run the meat through a meat mincer. As we had prepared the duck confit a day earlier, we also had boiled two duck livers, two duck hearts and two duck craws with the pork and added that to our meat mince (yum at giblets:).

Knead the dough again after it's risen.
Cover, and set aside to rise for the third time.
Mix the minced meat with the sautéed onions and chanterelles. Add a little bit of the stock to make sure it's not too dry and lumps together nicely.
Now knead, dust a flat surface with some flour and roll it out (thickness of a thick coin). Cut it into circles (diameter about 6-7 cm), my mom has a special accessory for this that kind of gets rolled across and then cuts it into circles but a cup or a cookie cutter will do just fine.
Preheat the oven to 170C.
And then just sit down and do the tedious handiwork of assembling the tiny pies - you'll need to put about a tablespoonful of the filling in the centre of the pie and then knit together the two edges with your fingers so that the seam will end up in the centre. Lay the pies on an oven tin seam-side down.
Whisk the egg yolks and brush the pies so they'll be nice and shiny.
Bake for about 15 minutes (the filling is done anyway, so just keep an eye on the pies and take them out when golden).
Serve with a bowl of hot pork-broth.


Sophie said...

MMMMMMM,...the pocket pies look marvellous & so tasty too!

Thanks for another great recipe, Kat!

lisaiscooking said...

Your pies look lovely! My Mom has a meat grinder just like the one in the photo. Great idea to add the duck pieces. The chanterelles sound delicious!

stephchows said...

oh they just look perfect!!

thepassionatecook said...

that sounds delicious! maybe it's time i dusted off my mincer ;-)