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pasty dough:

Meat pasties about 360 g flour
about 200 ml (180 g) water or milk
10 g fresh yeast
10 g sugar
500 g ground beef
90 g onion
50 ml short grain rice
(120 g smetana or sour cream)
white pepper
for glazing and dipping:
1 egg

Start making the dough by putting the flour, the liquid and the crumbled yeast into the mixing bowl of a heavy-duty tabletop mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead for 13 minutes, add the salt and sugar and knead for 2 minutes more. The dough will be quite firm. Let the dough rise, tightly covered, until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Cook the rice until tender and drain thoroughly. Fry the ground beef in a skillet on high heat, until all the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Chop the onion very finely and sauté in butter until tender and translucent.

Combine the meat, rice, onion and smetana. Smetana makes the filling juicier, but it may be omitted. If you like, add some chopped hard-boiled egg, fresh herbs, garlic or other spices to the filling.

Punch down and knead the dough on the work surface and then let it rest for 5 - 6 minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough into 10 equal-sized pieces and roll them into balls. One at a time, roll out the balls into flat disks, about 15 centimetres in diameter.

Take one dough disk, place a small pat of butter on the centre of it (butter can be omitted) and about 55 grams of filling on top. Pinch the edges of the disk together firmly to make a closed, oval pasty. Fill the rest of the dough disks.

Place the pasties seam side down on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover the pasties with a damp towel and let rise for 15 - 20 minutes. Brush the pasties with egg, prick with a fork and bake at 225 °C for 15 - 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 150 millilitres of milk in a saucepan, add a big lump of butter and let it melt. Submerge the piping hot pasties one at a time briefly in the hot milk-butter mixture, tilting the pan if necessary. You can use barbecue tongs to dip the pasties. Place the pasties in one layer on a large plate. Cover the plate tightly with parchment paper and a towel and let the pasties soften for about half an hour.

Serve the pasties warm with mustard, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise or smetana and pickled Russian-type gherkins, pickled beetroots, fresh salad, potato salad etc.
Makes 10 pasties.

Recipe source: adapted from "Pirozhki s miasom", Lifshits, M. O. et al. (1955) Kulinariia. Moscow: Gostorgizdat.


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