This is a very popular snack found in Brazil, it is mainly another version of our “hamburger” the ground meat baked wrapped in a bread dough.
Sorry for being away…this couple of weeks so much has happened in my life…one of my very good friends has stopped all the treatments for cancer, therefore she is under palliative and hospice care, with the support of my husband I flew with her out of state to help and spend some time with her along with her family. During the time I was with her, we talked and talked, we laughed and cried, we remembered facts in the past, places we went together, we teased each other…and we comforted each other…it was so hard to say goodbye when was time for me to come home, but she was always very gracious and comforting, telling me that she was okay and that I could leave and not to worry about her. It was an experience that I have never imagined going through…it was a life lesson, being able to face death openly and accept that we all one day will have to come across with. As for now, we still communicate by text and phone, and I am so thankful that she is in such a good spirit, very peaceful, serene and enjoying every day.
I hope I did not spoil your day by sharing this event…now the bright side of my post…a recipe for esfiha, which are simply meat pies. Esfiha are very popular in Brazil. These meat pies are of Middle East origin and they are found everywhere, a very common street food. They can be open-faced, like pizza and topped with cheese, lamb, beef or vegetables.
What I have here is a closed one, and for the dough I used an Asian inspired recipe, therefore the bread dough is super soft and cottony as compared to the recipe that I originally posted HERE…no more ”talk” and let’s head for the recipe. By the way, these meat pies are so tasty and juicy, they can be frozen, and are great as an appetizer or as a main dish served with a side salad. One more thing…they are usually served with hot sauce or wedge of lime/lemon.
Dough, from HERE
1 lb 85% fat ground beef
2 tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tablespoon water
In a large mixing bowl combine the ground meat and all the other ingredients, mixing them together. Set aside in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours. Remove the excess of liquid. Mix again gently and it is ready for the assembly.
After the first rise, divide the bread dough into small balls, approximately 45 to 50 g each. Roll into small circle of about 12 cm or 5 inch in diameter.
Place in the middle of the circle approximately 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
Fold the circle into thirds, forming a triangle shape pie. Seat the ends and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mate or parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cover the pies and let them rise for approximately 30 minutes or until the pies double of its original size.
Gently brush the top of the pies with the egg wash.
Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Please note that some of the filling might “leak” and it should be bubbling.
Remove from the tray and let it cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with hot sauce and/or lemon/lime wedge.
Did you know that esfiha is also called sfiha in Arabic? It means meat with dough. In Brazil, esfiha is very popular due to the presence of a large Arab population.