The other day I decided to give this classic a try. I think salty pies are not that much of a thing in Sweden besides the delicious Västerbotten Cheese Pie (which you must try if you’re ever here) so I had my husband to give this a try and let him be the judge for the evening.
Why Baltic Pirog? I have found that throughout the Baltics they use the exact filling I do, in comparison to other countries’ version of pirog pies – nonetheless, it’s good to remind you this is not a ”low calorie” food, nor something to make quickly. It’s a loving process that takes its time (probably even a little more for me since I was looking after Astrid at the same time also, and feeding her) but it’s definitely worth the try for its consistency and nutritional value (I am saying this because we eat meat in this house – and this pie exactly it’s a great way to hide away organ meat such as livers if you have someone around the house that does not like them otherwise).
This pie it’s part of what I call ”traditional European cooking” – almost every country has a version of it and it always differs somehow, yet it’s always same hearty and delicious especially when darker weather is approaching. It is know to be a substantial food for lunch for farmers and shepherds. I think that says it all – it’s healthy in the ”old way” of how health is understood – it contains plenty of good butter, beef meat and broth… these are foods that our ancestors have been living off (at least in Central, North and Eastern Europe) for ages. It feels right for the gut to be nourished in this way and will surely make you feel like you’ve just enjoyed a plate of almost a forgotten European cuisine.
How to do it? I will mention the ingredients and procedure down below and I encourage you to give this a try. It might take some time but if you are smart enough and have 2 pans working at the same time, you will make it in no time. I truly hope you will enjoy this and share a plate with your family or most beloved of friends.
For pie dough:
- 2 medium sized potatoes (or 4-5 smaller ones), peeled and boiled
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of rice (boiled in water and 150ml bone broth)
- 1 big onion, peeled and chopped
- 400g minced beef meat
- 180g bacon
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- fresh or frozen parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
- 250 ml bone broth (to add at the end to cook the entire filling in to make it more loose)
- 1 egg (using only egg white)
- splash of milk
Start by preparing your dough. Wash, peel and boil the potatoes and mash them with a fork once done. Add butter and flour. Mix and knead it until you can form a ball. Place in plastic paper or beewax wrapper and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Now to the filling. Start by boiling the eggs. Peel and chop them. Set aside. Start boiling the rice (follow instructions of preparation as on the package or as accordingly to the type of rice you use) in water and bone broth. Once soft and ready, set aside.
In a skillet, add your onion and some butter to fry until golden. Then add your minced meat, salt & pepper. Cook until brown. Add bacon and cook some more until the bacon is cooked (or you can cook the bacon separately and add this to the meat). Add the ready made rice, chopped eggs and bone broth. Top with parsley and mix until the consistency is loose enough to make a filling, yet not runny (if runny, leave it to cook more).
Start heating up your oven at 200°C. Take a pie form and butter it up. Get the dough cut in 1 bigger and 1 smaller piece. Roll the bigger part to cover the bottom and sides of your pie form. Once rolled, place the dough inside the pie form and fix with your hands the borders. Add all the filling and press gently. Roll out the other dough piece that will make the top of the pie. Add to the pie and make some cuts to it so juices and air will come out of the filling while baking without forming air bubbles.
Beat 1 egg white and a splash of milk and brush the outside of the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes at 200°C. Serve warm, with sour cream on the side.
If you end up making this, please tag me in your picture in Instagram so I can see you’re indeed making and appreciating these posts.