Since it is soup season, we’d like to introduce you (well, the uninitiated) to perogen.
Perogen are the cutest little meat pies that many of our South African friends enjoy IN their chicken soup. We love them in and out of the soup (no judgement here). Best thing is you can make a batch and freeze for a rainy day and then all you need to do it bake them straight from the freezer to enjoy with your soup or on their own, with a little ketchup on the side.
This recipe was first published in our very first book, Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood. It is a recipe from the kitchen of Cathy Miwidsky’s and her grandmother, Sadie.
I love making (my other grandmother) Cela’s chicken soup and Sadie’s perogen on Rosh Hashanah, so when our children eat it, they have something from each great-grandmother.
If you would like to make a batch of chicken soup to enjoy with your perogen, our chicken soup recipe is here.
If you would like to make your own pastry, try the rough puff from Safta Fela’s Borekas in It’s Always About the Food. on p. 43. To make it parev (dairy free if you keep kosher), use nuttelex margarine in place of butter.
Little Meat Pies: Perogen
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small brown onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- sprig of rosemary
- pinch of salt
- 500 g beef mince
- 200 ml red wine
- 400 g tin peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato sauce ketchup
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis sweet soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1.2 kg best-quality puff pastry
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cook the onions until soft and glassy, then add the garlic, rosemary and salt.
- Continue to stir over a low heat until fragrant and soft.
- Add the mince and brown well, then add all other ingredients (except the pastry) and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Using a stick blender, blend the meat in the saucepan to create an even consistency.
- Allow it to cook for a further 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray or baking sheet with baking paper.
- If using block puff pastry, roll it out on a well-floured bench to a 3 mm thickness (or place the pastry sheets on the bench).
- Using a cookie cutter or small glass (7–8 cm diameter), cut out circles from the pastry.
- Place one teaspoon of meat onto one half of each circle and fold the other side over to create a small half-moon shape. Using a fork, press down around the edges to seal.
- Place the perogen on the prepared tray and bake for 20–30 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Serve as an accompaniment to chicken soup or on their own as a tiny ‘meat pie’.