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Author Notes: The pastry is a basic potato pastry used in everyday Finnish cooking. It's been a favourite of mine for a long time, I started making it to satisfy my craving for "Lihaperunapiirakka", a traditional meat-potato pasty. Growing up my Dad would bring them home from Finnish bakeries that he would stop in while he was in Toronto or travelling more northern areas of Ontario like Sault Ste. Marie. I will take whatever meat and vegetables I have on hand and have even stuffed it with sweet, like apples with cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. I also use it to make small, individual pastries, freeze them and pull a few out for a quick weeknight dinner. This stuffing is a blend of kale, ground pork, veggies, fresh herbs and feta cheese.
The potato pastry recipe is adapted from The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas.
- 1 cup cooked, mashed potatoes (you can use leftovers!)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat potatoes and butter in a saucepan, stirring constantly until butter is melted.
- Slowly add the flour, mixing to make a smooth, stiff dough.
- *The amount of flour depends on a couple of things, like how much moisture is in your potatoes. Adding it slowly allows you to adjust the quantity as you get the dough to a stretchy consistency.
- Let dough rest 30 minutes.
- 1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed & shredded (large bunch)
- 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons shallots
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 3 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup crumbled goat feta
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Steam shredded kale to tender, about 10 min. set aside.
- Sauté ground pork with a little olive oil, until cooked through, about 15-20 min. Set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms in 1 tbsp butter until cooked and golden brown and the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 min.
- Sauté onion, shallots, garlic, celery, carrots, red pepper in 1 tbsp butter until tender, about 7-10 min.
- Remove from heat and mix in cooked pork, mushrooms and fresh herbs. Once well blended add kale, feta and parmesan, salt and pepper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ½ inch thickness (about 9x12 rectangle shape), adding flour if needed to keep the dough smooth (not sticky)
- Transfer to a piece of parchment cut for a 12x18 inch cookie sheet.
- Continue rolling to ¼ inch thickness, about 12x18.
- Leaving a 4 inch strip down the middle, slice 12-14 1 inch strips down each side of the dough for braiding. (careful to not cut the parchment paper)
- Carefully transfer dough, with parchment paper, to 12x18 inch cookie sheet.
- Spread stuffing evenly down the middle of the dough in a mound.
- Starting at one end, take strips and criss cross/braid down and over the stuffing. Gently tug each strip to stretch it as you overlap.
- When you get to the end if you have a bit of extra dough you can trim it off.
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake in a 375°F preheated oven for 30-40 min or until golden brown
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens