When I was in Mongolia this past April, I was fortunate enough to travel outside of Ulaanbaatar to visit the desert land and traditional yurts. This is where I discovered Khuushuur, or meat pies, that were served with Mongolian milk tea. It is a beautiful custom, no matter where you are or who you are- if you visit a traditional yurt and are greeted by a nomad family, they will open their home to you and serve you this typical dish. Although the milk tea is an acquired taste due to the salt they use, these meat pies that are filled with mutton (lamb) are addictive and I found myself craving them when returning home. Here is the recipe, let me know what you think!

 

Ingredients:

For dough:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup warm water

 

For filling:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground or thinly sliced and chopped lamb

1 cup onion, minced

2 scallions, minced

1/4 cup water

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Sunflower oil (for frying)

 

Preparation:

Start with making the dough by stirring flour and salt together in an electric mixer with bread kneading hook;

Stir in warm water until the dough forms;

Transfer to a flour surface and knead briefly;

Form into 13-14 (1 1/2 inch) balls;

Cover with plastic or cloth and allow the ballls to sit a room temperature for 1 hour;

In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, combine all filling ingredients and mix together with hands and set aside;

When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 250 F;

Roll out balls of dough into a 3 to 4 inch rounds on a floured surface with a rolling pin;

Put about 2 tablespoons of filling on one half of the rounds and flatten the filling and fold the other half over to form a half-moon (I usually do this part in my hands rather than on the floured surface);

Press edges together to seal the half-moon and force out the air;

When ready, heat 2 inches of sunflower oil over medium high heat

Fry the meat pies until golden and meat is just cooked through, about 6 minutes;

Transfer to paper towels to drain;

While cooking the remaining meat pies, keep them warm on a baking sheet in the preheated oven; and

Serve immediately while hot!