Lihamurekepiiras

MEAT LOAF IN PASTRY n

Lihamurekepiiras (lee-hah-moo-reh-kch-pec-rahs) is a delicious meat loaf, sur-rounded by a special sour cream pastry.

Serve it with a beetroot salad and a green vegetable for a super meal.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

PASTRY

12 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

6 oz. butter

1 egg yolk

5 fl. oz. sour cream

1 tablespoon iced water

FILLING

1 oz. butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped large green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

1 lb. lean beef, finely minced

4 oz. grated samsoe or Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, or

1 tablespoon dried dill

1 egg, well beaten with

2 fl. oz. single cream 1 egg yolk, well beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

With the teaspoon of oil, grease a baking sheet and set it aside.

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolk with the sour cream. Using a knife, mix the sour cream mixture into the flour.

Lightly knead the dough with your fingers, adding a little of the water if the dough is too dry.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190 C).

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and green pepper. Cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown. Add the beef and fry, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until the meat is brown.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to a mixing bowl. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, dill and the egg and cream mixture. Combine the mixture thoroughly and set aside.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and divide it in half.

Roll out each half into a 6- by 12-inch oblong. Place one oblong on the baking sheet.

Spoon the meat mixture on to the dough and spread it to within J-inch of the sides. Lift the second dough oblong on the rolling pin and place it on top of the meat mixture. With your fingers press the edges to seal the dough. With a knife, trim the edges of the dough to make a neat shape. With a fork, crimp the edges of the loaf.

Gather the trimmings and knead them lightly. Roll out the dough thinly. With a knife, cut the dough into leaves, flowers

Lihamurekepiiras, meat loaf baked in sour cream pastry, may be served vjith beetroot salad and beans. or strips. Decorate the loaf either with a pattern of flowers and leaves or a trellis.

With a pastry brush, brush the dough with the beaten egg yolk and milk mixture.

Place the loaf in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown on top.

Remove the loaf from the oven, slice it and serve.

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