Friday, October 21, 2011
Samsa: Uzbek meat pastries
Samsa is a food that comes from Uzbekistan. It is a dough pastry filled with meat and is commonly prepared with ground lamb. In the US, at least on the East Coast, ground lamb can be hard to find and when it is found, it is usually expensive. I instead use ground beef or possibly a mixture of ground beef and ground lamb. It is flavored with cumin and I like to use a lot of it, both as ground cumin and cumin seeds.
These little guys are so delicious. I love to take one or two with me for lunch with some vegetables. I just like to make sure that there microwave around to heat them up, they are better warm. Yes, I am using puff pastry again. I find it to be so versatile and really easy to use for different ethnic dishes, as well as appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. And it is easy to work with!
1/2 pound of ground meat (Use ground beef, ground lamb, or a mixture)
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 sheets of Pepperridge Farm puff pastry dough
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a medium frying pan, cook the onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on low heat until the onion is soft.
2. Add the ground meat to the frying pan, and cook the meat until browned. It is okay if the meat is still a little red since it will also be baked. To the meat, add the coriander, salt, ground cumin, and rub the cumin seeds between your fingers.
3. Let the meat cool for about 20 minutes before forming the pastry, otherwise the puff pastry dough will not hold. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To form the pastries:
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Separate one sheet of the puff pastry into 6 equally sized pieces. The other 1/3 sheet of dough should be cut in half.
5. Divide the meat into 8 portions. Put one portion of the meat onto half of the piece of puff pastry.
6. Fold the dough in half and push the ends of the dough together to close the pastry.
7. Mix the egg yolk with a few drops of water in a bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the pastry with egg.
8. Cook for about 25-30 minutes until the dough is brown. Let cool and then serve warm.