When Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes invited me to take part in the “International Winter Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap” I thought of making some gingerbread men as it is very popular in Estonia. This is something the kids look forward to every year! But after seeing that there was an entry about gingerbread cookies already I thought about making something not so sweet- minced meat pies. This is something that is on almost every Estonian Chrismas table. I remember my mom making them every year. And this was my first time making them.
So- minced meat pies.
500 g minced meat, some oil, 1 medimum onion, two boiled eggs (chopped), 50 g rice (boiled), salt
First make the dough. Crumble the fresh yeast into a large warm bowl, add the sugar and let it stand for 5 minutes, stirring through, until the yeast ‘melts’. Add milk, salt, most of the flour and stir until fully mixed. Knead in the soft butter, adding more flour, if necessary. Knead for 5-10 minutes, depending on your patience. You should end up with a soft dough that doesn’t stick too much onto your hands. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to double in size in a warm draught-free place. That should take about an hour. (If you’re not ready to bake after an hour, then knock the dough back when it has risen and leave to rise again for a bit longer.)
For the filling, fry the miced meat (add some oil if necessary) together with the chopped onions for about 10 minutes. Then add the boiled rice and eggs. Season with salt and black pepper. Mix everything together.
When it is ready to bake, take about a third of the dough at a time, and roll it out on a floured tabletop until it is about 3 mm thick. Cut out small circles, put about a teaspoonful of filling in the middle, and pinch the edges firmly together, so you have half-moon shaped pies.
Put onto a baking sheet, brush with egg and bake at 200C for 20 minutes, until the pies are a lovely golden brown. Transfer to a metal rack to cool. Cover with a clean towel to keep the moisture in the pies.