PASTRMALIJA

Pastrmalija is a traditional oval shaped baked dough pie. It's usually topped with salted, cubed meat. It reminds me of pizza in some way. There's a national festival for this dish in Macedonia which is a prove how good pastrmalija is. There are 3 towns in Macedonia constantly battling which pastrmalia is the best, in Shtip, Veles or Kratovo :)

For preparation of this delicious and widely known food you need the following products:

Ingredients:
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 600-800 g pork brittle
  • 5 eggs
  • One cube yeast
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Lard (or butter)
Preparation:

  1. First, leave meat coated with cooking oil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (bukovska pepper) to overnight.
  2. For dough preparation:
  3. Put the entire amount of flour in a bowl. Add salt for taste. Add yeast previously activated. Mix the dough with an electric mixer on the highest speed. Add about 2 dl water while mixing. Add around 1 dl oil later, which improves the taste of dough and makes it grow faster. Mix about ten minutes, then leave dough to grow for 30 minutes.
  4. When dough is ready, put it on a flat surface previously covered with some flour and knead it with hands. Continuously add flour to the surface so the dough isn't sticky. Dough is ready when it gets the required softness. Then, cut it with a knife into pieces with the needed size (average pastrmalia size). Knead each piece individually, constantly adding some flour. Form balls.
  5. Take the baking pan and grease it with lard (butter) on its entire surface. Put the dough balls on the pot and cover with a cloth. Wait to grow around 15-20 minutes.
  6. Stretch each ball by hand. The standard pastrmalija form is approximately elliptical. The edges of the dough should be bigger, which leaves space to place the meat in the middle. During the formation of the dough, immerse your fingers in water to avoid sticking.
  7. Chop meat pieces in small size and put them in the desired quantity. Don't put meat pieces one above other. Leave prepared pastrmalija for 5-6 minutes. Repeat the same procedure with the other dough balls.
  8. Take a half butter (125 g or lard) and cut into large pieces that you would later put on pastrmalija. Heat oven to a temperature of 200 Celsius degrees. Put a few pieces of butter on each pastrmalija before placing the trays in the oven.
  9. Mix 5 eggs in a metal container by hand. Pour eggs on pastrmalija's and return them to finish baking. You don't have to add eggs if you don't want to.
  10. Overall baking time should be around 20 minutes. Pastrmalija's are ready! Again, after removing the pan from the oven, grease ends with butter to soften.

I recommend red wine with this Macedonian specialty. Enjoy!

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