June 26, 2010

Finnish Meat Pie

Good things come to those who wait. So they say, and this has certainly been a long time coming. Probably closer to 10-15 years to be exact. That's how long it has been since I last had a Finnish meat pie! And never have I had a home made one before. It's one of those recipes that I've had on my mind for a long time, but knowing it would be a lot of effort to make, I've been putting it off. Now the thought of biting into a delicious home made meat pie became so overpowering I decided to roll up my sleeves and get to work. So was it worth waiting for the dough to rise, having flour all over my tiny kitchen, accidentally pouring oil on myself (not hot oil thank goodness!), burning my two fingers in the hot oil and having to throw out a couple of the first failed pies? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT IT WAS!!

Anyway, you can imagine why I am so very excited to share this recipe with you!

Finnish Meat Pies
(Makes 8 large pies)

Dough

300ml hand hot milk
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast (or 25g fresh yeast)
1tbs canola oil
1tbs sugar
1/2tbs salt
approx. 450g plain flour + some extra

Filling

1/3 cup short grain rice
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1tbs canola oil
300g beef mince (or mix of beef and pork)
1/2tbs white wine vinegar
1/2tbs yellow mustard seeds
pinch of salt
ground black pepper
tiny pinch of white pepper

Start with the dough: Warm milk to 42C. Mix dry yeast with a little bit of flour and stir into the milk. Add oil, sugar and salt and start adding the rest of the flour. Knead into a soft but elastic dough and leave to double in size.

In the mean time prepare the filling: rinse the rice well, place into a large pot and add water so that the rice is fully covered. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Pour out the extra water.

Cook the onion in a pan until translucent. Add the mince and let brown, add spices and cook for a further few minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Leave to cool completely.

Divide the dough into two and divide each half into four pieces. Roll into balls, then using a rolling pin roll into thickish, 15cm long disks. Spoon the filling onto the disks. Brush the edges with water, fold the pie into half and seal well with a fork.

Place the pies onto a floured surface and cover with a tea towel.

Heat 1 litre of oil in a heavy based sauce pan, prick pies with a fork, and fry the pies one by one for a couple of minutes on each side until brown. Serve warm with tomato sauce.