Finnish Meat Pie
75 g butter
2.5 dl milk
25 g yeast cake (or 1 package of dried yeast)
0.75 dl sugar
7 dl wheat flour
1 large yellow onion
400 g ground meat (mixed beef and pork)
200 g cooked rice (left-over rice is fine)
2 dl cream
salt and pepper
(1) Make the dough: melt the butter and add milk. Heat the mixture to 37 deg. C. Crumble the yeast into a bowl. Add the butter-and-milk mixture and whip it until the yeast as dissolved. Add sugar, salt and flour and stir until it becomes a dough. Cover the bowl, and let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes.
(2) While the dough rises, chop the onion into very small pieces, and put in a large frying pan. Add the ground meat immediately and saut e for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked rice and saute this mixture another 5 minutes. Add the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and turn off the heat. Let the frying pan stand on the stove, covered, until the dough is ready. Preheat the oven to 225 deg. C
(3) Roll out the dough so it fits in a 30×40 cm baking dish. Put the dough into the dish so that the dough covers the whole dish (this is the most difficult part; don’t be discouraged if you have to roll out the dough again).
(4) Add the filling on top of the dough. Whip the egg and spread it over the filling. Bake it on the bottom rack in the oven for about 20 minutes.
(5) When the pie has cooled off a bit; cut it into pieces that are 3 by 15 centimeters (the traditional size of lihapiirakka in Finland). Serve.
Notes: While eating lihapiirakka, you can try the hard work of pronouncing its name. “Liha” means meat and “piirakka” is just “piirakka”. The filling can of course be varied. Other traditional Finnish fillings for other “piirakka”s are blueberries (with some potato flour on top) and cottage cheese.
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking and cooling.
Precision: measure the crust ingredients carefully.