A Pirog is the Russian pie, covered in pastry, baked and filled with a sweet or savory filling. We are sure Russian Pirogi (the pies in plural) are very well-known all over the world. While being here almost every foreign guest who enjoyed the city with us wanted to try at least a small piece of the Russian pirog (pie). Surely the Russian pirogi are the integral part of our cuisine and culture in general.
Usually Russian Meat Pies are made of a yeast pastry. The recipe we are offering to you now is from my family and it makes the whole process easier and will also save your time. Please note that our pies can be of different shapes – round, rectangular and even triangular. Also, there are various options of fillings like beef, chicken, cabbage or salmon and rice.
For the filling
• 2 pounds of ground beef – about 1 kilo
• 1 carrot quartered and thinly sliced
• 1 onion diced
• 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
• A bit of black pepper
• Salt according to your taste
• ¼ cup of water or meet broth
• 2 tablespoons of oil
For the pastry
• 4 cups of flour – 500g
• 1 cup of melted butter – about 200g
• 4 teaspoons of baking powder
• ¼ cup of water
• 2 tablespoons of oil
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
1. To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the melted butter and hot water. Mix everything with a spoon. When mixed, it will still feel a bit dry, add the egg and mix again. If necessary, add more flour.
2. To make the filling in a separate bowl mix the ground beef, thinly sliced vegetables, black pepper, salt, water and oil.
3. Cut the pastry in ⅔ and ⅓ pieces. The ⅔ piece will be used as the base of the pie, and the ⅓ piece will be the cover. Roll the pastry into about ½cm or ¼” thick.
4. Put the bigger part of the pastry inside a baking pan, including up the sides. You can lightly grease the pan if you like, however the pastry has enough butter in it, usually it doesn’t stick. Place the meat mixture inside and cover it with the smaller piece of pastry. Pinch the pastry edges together to seal.
5. Using a fork, pierce the pastry randomly across the top, to allow steam to escape while the pie is in the oven. You can also cut not a big round circle in the middle of the pie cover. Beat the egg yolk and brush the top of the pie for a golden finish.
6. Preheat the oven for 20 minutes to 180°C/356°F. Place the pie into the oven and cook it for about 20 minutes at this temperature. Then leave it at 200°C/392°F for 30 minutes more.
7. When the time is finished, take the pie out of the oven, cover it with the clean kitchen towel and leave it for 10-15 minutes to get cool.
The pie is ready, enjoy it.