Pastelles (Pastelicos)…..Savory Meat Pies (updated with “how to” video)

Pastelles (Pastelicos)

Savory Meat Pies

Beautiful to behold – a delectably delightful treat!  Something special to add to a Meze (appetizer), or as part of a special meal!
My boys grew up enjoying the treat of their grandmother’s pastelicos.  I remember my mom taking them out of the oven and onto the “Bancu” (countertop) to cool. My two sons, playing that day with their cousins of similar ages, stopped by the kitchen a dozen times that afternoon….walking out with a fresh and warm pastelico each time!!!!  As my mom recalls, “a grandmothers true joy!”, seeing them enjoying the labor of her heart and hands!!!!
Pastelicos are made from the same dough as burekas ( a great dough to use for an All-American pie, as well!!)
When baking with my mom, we make the “conduchu” (filling) first.
Ingredients for Meat Filling
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 lbs ground beef
5 tsp tomatoe sauce
a dash of cayenne pepper (or pepper flakes) and garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 C rice
1 egg
1/2 C chopped parsley
Parboil rice. To do so, bring 3/4 C water to a boil.  Add 1/4 C rinsed rice.  Cook covered on stove approximately 10 minutes on low/simmer heat.  Rice should be only partially cooked.
Next, in a large skillet (or electric frying pan) saute diced onions, using 3 -4 Tblsp of oil.
Add 2 lbs of ground beef and brown.  Add tomato sauce and spices, Add parboiled rice, followed by chopped parsley.  Add 1/4 C of water to mixture.   Cover and cook on medium heat until all water is absorbed. Add egg to mixture to bind.  Should take approximately 35-40 minutes to cook.
While cooking, begin making dough.
Ingredients for Dough ( to make pastelicos and burekas)
3 C Ice water
2 1/2 C oil
1 tsp salt
10 – 12 C flour
Put ice in measuring cup and ice water to 3 cups.
Add  oil and salt.
Incorporate flour into dough as you add it.  (Ice cubes will melt and/or will “pop up” and you will remove as dough is mixed.)
Once dough is ready, prepare balls the size of an apricot for the “cup”, and a ball the size of a walnut for the “hat”.
Using your thumb, open the “cup”. Fill with a scoop of the meat mixture.  Take a walnut sized ball and dip it in a bowl of sesame seeds, then flatten. Place on top of the filled “cup” (sesame seed side facing out).  Crimp close the edges.  Place in a cupcake tin. (helps pastelicos keep their shape). Brush with an egg wash (beat an egg with a few drops of water).
Place in oven at 350 degrees,
Keep on lower shelf until bottom begins to turn color (golden)….about 20-25 minutes.  {this will depend on your particular oven.  Check a few times first time to be sure}.
Move to top shelf until tops are a gold color.
Pastelicos are delicious right out of the oven! (after a few minutes of cooling).  They freeze well.  Pack in airtight freezer bags or boxes.   To enjoy from the freezer, defrost (or zap in the microwave) and reheat at 350 degrees in the oven.
Enjoy!!   Bendichas Manos!!!

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