FYDZHIN – OSSETIAN MEAT PIE
In this traditional Ossetian recipe we show how to make Fydzhin, one of the most popular Ossetian dishes. A meat filled pie, it can be made with a beef filling or a mix of beef and pork or beef and lamb. We made ours with beef and pork. This meat filled pie is similar to Svanetian Kubdari (Georgian: კუბდარი) but uses minced meat instead of cut meat.
Ingredients for filling (for 2 pies): 1.2 kilos of minced beef and pork mix, 3 onions, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 hot red pepper, half tsp of black pepper, 300 ml of beef broth, and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).
Ingredients for dough: 1.3 kilos of flour (includes 300 grams for dusting and kneading), 500 ml of warm water or milk, 30 grams of butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt.
Preparation (dough): Add 1 kilo of flour to a mixing bowl. Make a depression in the flour. Add 600 ml of warm water or milk, 30 grams of soft butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt. Mix by hand.
The dough should be formed into a soft ball.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes for the dough to rise. Once the dough has risen, add 150 grams of flour and firmly knead the dough.
Preparation (filling): Add the minced beef/pork to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the onions, red pepper and garlic and add to the bowl, together with half tsp of black pepper, and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).
Add 230 ml of beef broth. Squeeze and mix by hand. Leave for 30 minutes before using.
Dust a preparation board with flour and divide the dough into 2 large and 2 smaller balls. The larger pieces will form the base for each of the two pastries and the smaller pieces will form the covers. The picture below shows one of the larger and one of the smaller balls.
Roll out the 2 larger pieces to 5 mm depth.
Rub butter into the base and sides of two circular baking dishes (26-28 cm diameter) before adding each pastry base. Use your fingers to mold the pastry to the shape of the baking dish.
Add one half of the filling to each baking dish.
Use a wooden soon to compress the filling, ensuring that mixture is pressed into the sides.
Roll out the two smaller pieces of dough to 2-3 mm depth and in each make a circular hole in the middle and four slits.
Carefully place the pastry over the baking dish. Use your palms and thumbs to mold the pastry around the dish.
Trim any excess pastry.
We made a twisted edge to ours. This type of decoration is used for celebrations and feasts. Bake the pastry in an oven at 200 C temperature. After 15 minutes, add 3 tbs of broth.
Brush with the yolk of one egg mixed with tsp of milk.
Reduce temperature to 180 C and continue to bake until the pastry is golden.
Serving: Rub with butter and serve immediately. In Ossetia, the top of the pastry is removed and cut into strips, which are then dipped into the meat juices. The meat and remaining pastry is eaten with a fork.
Enjoy your Ossetian Meat Pastry!