No finest words than "Encased (in Pastry) Meats"
November 17, 2011 5:55 AM   Subscribe

What are your loca/and orfavorite savory items wholly encased in a pastry/bread? Should be more of a snack than a meal, and filled with cheese and or meat: This is my favorite kind of food.

I've had:

Empanadas (Bolivian, Chilean, Argentine and Colombian type)
Arepas (Venezuela)
Pieroshkis (Russian)
Pepperoni Roll (West Virginia)
Arancini (Italian)
Dumplings (China)
Pork Bun (China)
Cornish Pasty (UK)
Pig-in-the-Blanket (US)
Jamaican Beef Patty (uh, Jamaica)
Samosa (India)
Momo (Tibet)

What have I been missing? And where can I get that in a major metro area in the US.
posted by sandmanwv to Food & Drink (67 answers total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
Brie en croute, which is just a wheel of brie encased in a puff pastry shell, then baked until the pastry is flaky and hot and the cheese is melted. Sometimes includes some sort of fruit jam inside, but not necessary at all.
posted by xingcat at 6:00 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Calzone / Stomboli
Beef Wellington
posted by FreezBoy at 6:01 AM on November 17, 2011

Pupusas: "a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft cheese called Quesillo found in all Central America), cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency (called chicharrón, not to be confused with fried pork rind, which is also known as chicharrón in some other countries), refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America)."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:05 AM on November 17, 2011 [7 favorites]

khingali, a Georgian oversized dumpling that is fantastic. not sure where to suggest that you get some though. i'm planning to try to cook some in the next couple of weeks, that'll be an interesting challenge.
posted by saraindc at 6:11 AM on November 17, 2011

Tamales. Not quite a pastry or bread, but I think tamales fall comfortably into this category.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:11 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Calzone (Italy)
Scotch pie (Scotland)
Scotch egg (UK, encased in breadcrumbs only so may fall outside your requirements, but definitely a cousin to the others on your list)
posted by primer_dimer at 6:14 AM on November 17, 2011

Also, because I've just finished one at my desk:

Sausage roll (UK)
posted by primer_dimer at 6:15 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Natchitoches meat pie (Northern Louisiana)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 AM on November 17, 2011

From the Netherlands/Belgium, saucijzenbroodje and worstenbrood are both puff pastry filled with sausage.
posted by neushoorn at 6:19 AM on November 17, 2011

Dagwood Dogs (or Pluto Pups), along with lashings of tomato sauce.
posted by h00py at 6:31 AM on November 17, 2011

Chebureki (Russia)
posted by griphus at 6:33 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not sure it's available in every metro area, but if you've got a good Ethiopian restaurant nearby I highly recommend sambusas. It's the same idea (same thing, really) as a samosa, except the ground meet filling is cooked with Ethiopian spices and it's really fantastic.
posted by iminurmefi at 6:33 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I guess batter is not really a pastry. Puff-pastry dogs are good too (along with lashings of tomato sauce).
posted by h00py at 6:34 AM on November 17, 2011

This is not ethnic at all, and I call them "those chicken-pocket things" which involve chicken, cream cheese, roasted red peppers, and green onions as a filling. I make a giant batch of them at home and freeze them. If you want a more detailed recipe you can MeMail me.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:35 AM on November 17, 2011

Small rounds of puff-pastry surrounding caramelised onion is fantastic. Eggwash over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
posted by h00py at 6:35 AM on November 17, 2011

If you have a polish community near you.. Pierogi. Although traditionally filled of mashed potatoes with cheese and/or onions, they can also come with meat fillings.
posted by royalsong at 6:40 AM on November 17, 2011

Pork pie. Or, even better, Gala pie.
posted by ComfySofa at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2011

Turkish/Mediterranean Borek (though the place I get them calls them burrekah (sp)).
posted by Jacob G at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pierogis are delicious. And there is a Georgian (country, not state) type of cheese bread called khachapuri which is delightful. There are also Australian and British meat pies; I particularly like a chicken-and-mushroom one, or perhaps curry.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:50 AM on November 17, 2011

Nobody has mentioned croquettes yet?
posted by janepanic at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2011

There are at least two Oz meat pie places in NYC: Tuck Shop and DUB.
posted by zamboni at 7:00 AM on November 17, 2011

This is kind of shameful, but if you want to understand the full range of meat in pastry products that are widely available across the UK, you should check Ginsters. They are widely reviled, but their range is comprehensive. If you want to dig deep, then I recommend a book called The Taste of Britain, which in loving detail records all the regional specialist foods of the UK, including all the weird and wonderful meat in pastry variations.

tl;dr Scotch Egg (although there is no actual pastry involved)
posted by roofus at 7:00 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Kolaches with meat are common in Texas; they came from our Czech/German settlers in Central Texas. Googling them will get you a lot of controversy (purists are shocked and I've personally freaked out a friend with Polish ancestry talking about them) but will also tell you there's a fast food joint called the Kolache Factory that may be in a town near you.

If you're in Texas, there are better options but then you'd already know about kolaches, I reckon.
posted by immlass at 7:02 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bridie (Scotland, east; basically a patty, but not so spicy.)

Mutton Bun (Tamil; basically a samosa made from bread with a small nugget of burny goat curry in the middle. About 30 cents a pop from the bakery on the corner of my street. Om nom nom.)
posted by scruss at 7:02 AM on November 17, 2011

Oh, whoops, you also asked "where can you get them".

Actually, some of these are easily-enough made from scratch, if you're willing to cheat a bit on the pastry -- I tried making my own Natchitoches meat pies following a recipe from FOOD AND WINE magazine, and the recipe called for using the pre-made pie dough that is in the fridge section of the supermarket and you unroll. If that's good enough for a commercial chef, it's good enough for me.

And if you can do that, then it just becomes a matter of mixing up the filling inside. The Natchitoches recipe I had just called for a half pound of ground beef, onions, garlic, and some spices that I thought unusual at first (cayenne and allspice?), but really worked.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 AM on November 17, 2011

Oh yes, there are any number of ingredients you can combine into a meat pie.

I made an excellent family sized meatpie recently consisting of lamb mince, grated carrot, grated potato, grated pumpkin and grated onion along with some garlic, rosemary, mint and oregano.

Fry off mince, onion and garlic until brown with the chopped rosemary, add the rest (including the mint and oregano) and combine. Season well. Lightly grease pie dish, place shortcrust pastry within (I buy premade and frozen for convenience but by all means make it yourself if you're more motivated than me), cut to size, fill with the aforementioned, top with another lot of shortcrust pastry, trim, decorate, make vent holes.. brush with egg wash (egg and some milk whisked together). Sprinkle with extra rosemary and salt. Bake 180c for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.
posted by h00py at 7:06 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am thinking that it seems as though every culture has a variation

Lihapiirakka [finland] and lihapasteija are default in every cafe

Durban, South Africa's Bunny chow
posted by infini at 7:22 AM on November 17, 2011

Brazil is an awesome place for little fried snacks with bread or dough wrapped around meat or cheese. You can get them at little shops all over every city, every small town, scattered down every highway... everywhere.
A pastel (plural pasteis) is a thin stretchy egg-based dough (similar to egg roll or wonton wrapper) folded into a big loose square, with meat (ground beef/onion), shredded chicken, cheese, hearts of palm, or various other fillings folded inside. The real distinguishing characteristic is, in art-talk, the use of negative space, i.e. lot of air in these things. Not only does the dough blister up in little bubbles, but the whole middle puffs up when they're fried.

My favorite is the coxinha (pronounce co-sheen-ya). It's a nicely spiced shredded chicken, wrapped in a soft chewy dough. The dough is basically just flour and milk (or chicken broth), with a bit of salt and oil, but it's cooked stovetop in a saucepan to make a stretchy gooey mass before it's wrapped around the filling. Traditionally they're not ball-shaped, but teardrop-shaped, to resemble a chicken drumstick - the word coxinha means "little thigh/drumstick".
posted by aimedwander at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Malaysian curry puffs! Malaysian restaurants in major metro areas in the US (e.g. the ones near Dupont Circle in DC) should have them, but I don't vouch unreservedly for their quality outside Malaysia (evidence).
posted by idlethink at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2011

Polish, Italian, Hungarian, German (and Other) Family, so we had a lot of things cooked in pastry. The Hungarian/German side seemed to reserve pastry stuffed things for the sweet side of the menu, so they are not represented in this list. We also liked to cook other nationalities' foods so here is a short list:

Pierogi - pot cheese, sauteed onion and black pepper filling, egg noodle, boiled and pan fried with sour cream.
- blueberries and sugar, water noodle, boiled and served with sour cream (sweet, I know, but make them with your other pierogi for dessert!)

Calzone (family sized, sliced, served with marinara, stuffed with ricotta filling, mozzarella, maybe pepperoni and/or spinach and/or broccoli)

Cozatel - a savory version of cazzatelle with pork and mozzarella. Subtle and flavorful.
Recipe below.

Pasties - Cornish style. I went to Great Britain as a kid and was smitten.

Steak and Kidney Pie - Again, Britain. I was a weird kid.

Empanadas de Piccadillo - We lived in Florida. These were a short pastry filled with a piccadillo containing beef, tomatoes, raisins, olives, capers and a touch of cinnamon. Probably a little cumin too.)

On my own, I have added the following:
Jamaican Patties - beef, yes, but also shrimp curry.

Pupusas - bean and/or cheese stuffed, but I would love to find loroco and chicharon recipes.

Meat Handpies - Stew-like filling. Juicy. Whatever I have on hand.

Cozatel (my family's spelling)

1# coarsely ground pork butt
1/2# ricotta
2 eggs
mozzarella (slices from a block)
grating cheese (my family uses pecorino romano, almost exclusively)
pepper and salt
pizza dough

Grind pork and fry. Drain fat. Cool and mix with ricotta, eggs, grating cheese, parsley, pepper and salt. Take a piece of dough and roll into a round. Place a piece of mozzarella on the dough and over this place a serving spoon of pork mixture, then another piece of mozzarella. Fold in half and seal. Fry in hot olive oil until both sides are golden brown. Drain and keep warm in the oven.
posted by Seamus at 7:52 AM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]

The blog Joy the Baker just had a recipe for Brown-sugar Bacon Biscuits. I made a gluten-free version to mail to some friends, and they were amazing. The recipe is on the blog if you just google Joy the Baker.
posted by shortyJBot at 7:56 AM on November 17, 2011

Runzas (aka bierocks, or, if your Volga German ancestors went to Argentina instead of the Great Plains, kraut pirok). Beef and sauerkraut baked inside a yeast dough. Total comfort food.

Oh, and one of my favorite Lebanese treats, kibbeh.
posted by eleventy zillion at 8:04 AM on November 17, 2011

Zongzi and lo mai gai are in the tamale family and not the samosa or dumpling family, but they're both quite good.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:08 AM on November 17, 2011

This thread is turning out to be an excellent resource for global foods and families - I like the concept of categorizing into the Samosa family of dough/meat snacks, the Dumpling family and the Tamale family. Would that be deep fry vs steaming or shape of dough?

It reminds me of Chee Cheong Fun - rice noodle rolls with a variety of fillings
posted by infini at 8:19 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

In the Philippines, there is something called siapao (pronounced shoe pow) which is usually shredded chicken, pork or beef mixed in with some veggies in a steamed bun. Mmmmmm. If you go to any large Asian store, they are usually found in the freezer section. A quick stint in the microwave and lunch is served.
posted by HeyAllie at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2011

My favourite thing at German Christmas markets is called "handbrot" and is basically a giant loaf of bread cooked in a wood oven with meat or mushrooms and cheese and served hot with some sour cream on top. I only was in Berlin the week before Christmas so I don't know if it's more widely available at not-Christmastime. They had it at the Hyde Park Christmas market in London last year as well.
posted by SoftRain at 8:50 AM on November 17, 2011

Natchitoches meat pies.
posted by Runes at 8:52 AM on November 17, 2011

Kolache, particularly as they're made in the area around Houston, where the expectation is more like a pig-in-a-blanket than an open-face sweet-stuff-on-top. In particular, I think the jalepeno sausage variant is only found locally (or as an import from Houston). And even here it seems like every donut shop does them different.
posted by Runes at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2011

Spanakopita triangles. (Shouldn't be too hard to find or make - it's a popular enough appitizer offering in the US.)
posted by flex at 9:07 AM on November 17, 2011

posted by infini at 9:08 AM on November 17, 2011

The excitingly named Meat Pie, which is pretty much what it sounds like and available with all sorts of filly from mystery meat & gristle cheap pies to delicious ones with a huge range of fillings. From say beef & burgandy, venision, tuna, venison, steak and kidney you name it you can stick it in a pie. Easiest way to get them in the US is to make your own, basically a nice flaky (not sweet) pastry in a pie pan, add filling. Usually they are sandwich sized but I can't find the pans for that here so make big ones in apple pie tins with the filling of choice to get my fix.
posted by wwax at 10:07 AM on November 17, 2011

My Palestinian ex-mother-in-law made something she called Sembusek that I've never seen anywhere else. The filling was ground beef/lamb, chopped onion, and chopped cauliflower, seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The dough was simple--no leavening--and was cut into small rounds, filling put in, and folded in half and pinched shut. They were deep fried. Extremely delicious. She also made Kibbeh.

Also, Filipino Lumpia.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 11:06 AM on November 17, 2011

Tucumanas are like salteñas that are deep-fried and served with spicy peanut sauce. So, everything that is delicious about salteñas, plus--you know, deep fried! And spicy peanut sauce! Soooo good. I don't know if you can get them in places that serve salteñas in the U.S. though.
posted by drlith at 11:18 AM on November 17, 2011

I came in here to talk about pizzagaina (which my Connecticut Italian-American family pronounces "pizza keen!" exclamation point definitely not optional). I don't know where you get one, other than to be invited over for Easter brunch.

I'm also surprised nobody has yet mentioned the humble, yet noble, burrito.
posted by gauche at 11:19 AM on November 17, 2011

i'm Brazilian and I second Coxinhas!
posted by Tom-B at 11:28 AM on November 17, 2011

Bierocks - yeast dough surrounding a beef, cabbage and onion filling. You can cheat and used frozen dough if you don't want to make your own.

The recipes differs according to family but here is what i do - brown ground hamburger meat with salt and pepper, put aside, saute chopped cabbage and slice onion together in skillet where you browned meat until tender, adding a little butter if necessary. Mix together meat and cabbage mixture.

whatever dough you use - let it rise once and then roll it out and cut into 6 inch squares. Place some of meat/cabbage mixture in the center and fold dough into a pouch around the meat. Place pouch seam side down onto baking sheet. Once they are all done, let them rise for 20-30 minutes and then bake according to dough directions.

Serve with mustard if you are a grownup - ketchup if you are a kid!
posted by domino at 11:37 AM on November 17, 2011

You want local? This here doughboy is my college food. (Sounds a lot like Green Eyed Monster's chicken-pocket-things.)
posted by pemberkins at 11:48 AM on November 17, 2011

This is a seasonal thing, but there's a variety of Shanghai Moon Cakes that is exactly what you describe. Flaky pastry, filled with savory meat (pork). Here's an example.
I know it's not difficult to find in Los Angeles at least, but probably if you ask around in Chinatown during mid-autumn festival you could get some leads from Shanghainese people. Most people are only familiar with the familiar sweet variety, but personally I'm not that much of a fan of those but I LOVE the savory pork kinds.
posted by xtine at 12:08 PM on November 17, 2011

Vol-au-vent. "The pastry and its catchy name vol-au-vent were invented by Antonin Carême in his pastry-shop opened in rue de la Paix [Paris] in 1803-04." "Carême [1784-1833] is often considered as one of the first internationally renowned celebrity chefs."
posted by iviken at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2011

My Must Eat list just got several pages longer.

I got a recipe for a prosciutto ring from Rose Levy's awesome Bread Bible. It's got prosciutto and cheese and is easy to make and oh so good!

Also, my mom usually makes a...thing with leftover turkey (a timely suggestion!) Minced turkey, sauteed onions and mushrooms folded into a puff pastry and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I have no idea where she got this from, but it totally rocks that sweet and savory action.
posted by bluejayway at 12:51 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pieragi (towards the bottom of a page full of Latvian food, just in case you've always had a hankering for sauteed saurkraut). Yeasted dough pockets, filled with bacon, sauteed lightly or not, with onions or not, brushed with egg wash and baked. Nicer if they sit in your kitchen for a few days. Any Latvian community hub will have them or know where you can get them.
posted by thylacinthine at 1:01 PM on November 17, 2011

Boureke (Druze Israeli cuisine, which as far as I know is only offered at the two Gazala restaurants in NYC, but on the off chance you're here, DELICIOUS) and the unremarkably named "vegetable puffs", which are an Indian thing with curry-spiced vegetables inside a puff pastry shell. Those should be available frozen at most Indian specialty stores. Happy eating!
posted by dynamiiiite at 2:07 PM on November 17, 2011

bluejayway's mom's pastry sounds like a fairly close cousin to Moroccan b'stilla (recipe for mini-size), which is amazing.

"Golden purses" are one of my favorite savory stuffed pastry snacks, available at many Thai restaurants.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:49 PM on November 17, 2011

Pastilla. We had this at the linked restaurant in Chicago, and it was delicious. (Also we are in love with their mint tea.)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:54 PM on November 17, 2011

When you say "Dumplings" or "Pork Bun (China)", what do you mean exactly? Because there are a lot of different Chinese dumplings and buns available, each with their own particular flavor profile. To me, saying "Dumplings (China)" sounds like the functional equivalent of "Pasta (Italy)".

The most popular dumpling types available in the Western world are either wonton or jiaozi/guotie (pan-fried jiaozi) aka "potstickers", "Peking ravioli", etc., but even the smallest dim sum place will probably have at least a few other savory dumpling varieties. The most common ones are har gow (shrimp-based dumplings in transclucent rice wrappers) and shiu mai (pork-based dumplings in wheat wrappers), and these pretty much always look and taste very different from each other, but there are many others. Japanese gyoza and Tibetan momos are all local variants of jiaozi, so you probably already know each country or region tends to lend its own spin to the standard meat-stuffed dumpling.

For example, from Shanghai, there's something called xiaolongbao which sometimes gets called "soup dumplings" in English. It looks like a Tibetan momo, but you usually need good technique and practice to eat it successfully, because if you just bite into it you'll end up wearing a burst of hot soupy goodness hidden inside the wrapper. Getting the soup inside is actually a pretty fascinating piece of culinary magic.

You can also get Chinese buns/bao filled with any number of sweet and savory combinations, and they can look and taste really different depending on how they're prepared. Steamed is very common, but you can also get bao that's been baked, fried, enclosed in flaky pastry, etc. Like the dumplings, your variety of bao is going to depend on how robust the dim sum scene is in your town, but a good place will have at least a couple of different kinds.

In Japan, there's also a fairly popular tradition of stuffing soft European-style rolls with various concoctions, so you can find things like kare pan (Japanese-curry baked or fried inside of bread) or rolls with these uniquely Japanese, mayo-based tuna concoctions inside of them. Unless you've got a large Japanese population around, you may not be able to find many good examples of this outside of Japan, but if you can find a Japanese bakery in the area, I'd be surprised if they didn't carry kare pan.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:49 PM on November 17, 2011

This threads reads as an incredible to-do list.
posted by ouke at 4:12 PM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you're ever in St. Paul, you should check out the offerings at Potter's Pasties. Run by a Brit, but they also do a Thai vegetarian pasty.
posted by koucha at 4:35 PM on November 17, 2011

At our house, the favorite is Rye Sausage Rolls, with dough prepared in an automatic breadmaking machine and then wrapped around kielbasa.
posted by Ery at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2011

Pastizzi - mushy peas, how can you say no?
posted by unliteral at 5:04 PM on November 17, 2011

"...a giant loaf of bread cooked in a wood oven with meat or mushrooms and cheese and served hot with some sour cream on top."

Holy cow, that sounds good. Anyone have more information on this German wonder?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:58 PM on November 17, 2011

posted by SisterHavana at 9:14 PM on November 17, 2011

A couple more from Pakistan.

I assume you're familiar with both types of samosa. In Pakistan, the smaller samosas are often filled with spicy chicken mince. Some daring sorts add a sharp cheddar as well. Often available in the frozen foods sections of your local Indian/ South Asian stores.

An edge case is the stuffed paratha. A common and, to my mind, superior alternative to the aloo paratha (paratha stuffed with potato) is the qeema paratha, stuffed with spiced beef or goat mince. The bread encasing the mince, when well made, is light and flaky. The best are home made and whole wheat, but I've only ever seen white flour parathas in frozen food sections. A similar and even more delicious concoction is the naan stuffed with qeema, for which you'll have to come visit me in Lahore.

Chicken patty. Similar to the vegetable puff mentioned earlier, a localised version of the vol au vent. An indispensible part of afternoon chai: small vol au vents with a thin layer of spiced shredded chicken. Chicken patties are round with scalloped edges, and vegetable patties (bah) are triangular. There are also some rectangular patties but are only to be found in university or hospital canteens and aren't fit for notice.
posted by tavegyl at 2:57 AM on November 18, 2011

This threads reads as an incredible to-do list.

Hell, I've already memailed sandmanv to say that this is basically going to be the menu for my next dinner party.

Would crepes be something you'd consider too? The dough is wrapped a bit less "tightly", but it's still "dough wrapped around meat."

There's also taquitos.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2011

Does the corn dog count?
posted by talldean at 10:09 AM on November 18, 2011

A late entry from Finland: Kalakukko.
posted by zamboni at 12:06 PM on November 18, 2011

You should check out something I would consider a quintessentially American food: the Schwan's Bagel Dog with cheese.
posted by genehack at 9:59 PM on November 18, 2011

I don't think anyone has mentioned Doubles, a delicious Trinidadian treat. In Toronto, the best doubles are found at Drupati's.
posted by yawper at 7:42 PM on November 19, 2011

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