If you ask me what my favourite Luxembourg food item is, it would have to be the Rieslingspaschtéit. The first thing I do every time I go back home, is to run to a bakery and buy a few of these meat pies with white wine jelly. They’re just completely ace!
Now, you guys know that I live in Britain, and, to be fair, I’d call it the nation of pies! The British are pretty darn good at making meat pies. Still, when the Hairy Bikers made it to Luxembourg, they were super impressed by our Rieslingspaschtéit – so much, that they ended up making some for their show.
As a proud Luxembourger, I had to make it my mission to make some of these glorious pies myself. But, with a slight change. I actually decided to make a hybrid version, using a Luxembourgish Rieslingspaschtéeit meat filling but putting it into a traditional British pie pastry. So, in this recipe you’ll find a crusty hot water pastry instead of the softer pastry normally used in the Rieslingspaschtéit. If you prefer to make it the traditional way, you can follow the Hairy Bikers’ recipe.
Rieslingspaschtéit is eaten cold and best enjoyed with a glass of cold Riesling.
Now, I have to be honest: it’s quite a pain to make these! You have to let the filling marinate for a few hours, then make the dough from scatch (letting it rest for about two hours in total between stages), bake them, let them cool down, once cool add the white wine jelly and finally let the jelly set for 8 hours! Yes, I’m not kidding, that’s what it takes to make Rieslingspaschtéit!
Still, if you do have the patience, discipline and motivation to make these, you shall be rewarded big time! They’re absolutely fab!
I was well chuffed when I was finally done with making these little pies, and felt a proper sense of achievement! But then the question was: what to do with 15 pies?! I obviously ate a few immediately, but there’s only so much a single girl can (and should!) eat! I also gave some to my friends, but I was still left with too many. They only keep for a maximum of 2 days so, I froze the remaining ones, and it was pretty good. Just defrost them in the morning and put them into a hot oven (220° celsius) for 5 minutes before eating, so that you get a crusty crust again.
This is what the Rieslingspaschtéit traditionally looks like. A long log with a crowned hole on the top. I made these and it was super easy to recreate. Just fill a rectangular piece of pastry with the filling, cut out a round hole on the top, and fit a rolled piece of dough around the hole. To make this crown stick, you can add some beaten egg as glue underneath. Et voilà! A typical Rieslingspaschtéit, the way I eat them every time I go back to Luxembourg!
Rieslingspaschtéit – Luxembourgish Meat Pies with Riesling
Makes about 15 pies (takes about a day to make – seriously!)
For the hot water crust pastry:
1 egg, beaten
450g plain flour
175g lard (or goose or duck fat)
2 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 beaten egg for glazing
For the filling:
100g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 medium carrot
1 small onion
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp dried majoram
1 tbsp salt
some black pepper
2 tbsp whisky or brandy
For the Riesling jelly:
150ml Riesling wine
2 gelatine leaves
Right, ready for the pie marathon?! Here we go!
First, make your filling. Put the meat into a big bowl. Finely dice the carrot and the onion and add to the meat. Add the parsley, majoram, salt, pepper and whisky and mix it all. Cover and put into the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
Then, pastry time! Put the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and put in the beaten egg.
Put the larg into a pan with 175ml water, the salt and the sugar. Bring to the boil and stir until the lard melts. Once it boils, count to 30 seconds, then turn off the heat. Keep stirring until the lard has melted. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture, stirring continuously wit a wooden spoon. When the mixture forms a sticky dough, cover the bowl with a tea towl and leave to cool for 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hands into one long rectangle. Fold one side of the rectangle into the middle, then the other side on top of it. Press down with your fingertips. Flatten the dough into a rectangle shape, place onto a baking tray and cover with the teatowel. Put it into the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 180° celsius. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface, fold it into three again (like before) and roll out again to 3-4mm thickness.
Use a pastry cutter or a glass and cut out circles that are bigger than your muffin tins. Place each circle into a buttered and floured muffin tin, press so that the dough fits the mould. Add a couple of tablespoons of filling to each pie (NOTE: if you want to make sure your filling is seasoned enough, take one teaspoon and quickly fry it in a saucepan. This cooked piece will be a good indicator). Cut out smaller circles to cover each pie with. Press the edges to make sure they’re firmly sealed.
Brush the top of each pie with beaten egg. Use a skewer or chopstick to punch a hole through each of the pie tops. This will enable the pies to let off steam during the baking and release the liquid that forms.
Bake the pies for 45 minutes. Leave them in the muffin tray and let them completely cool down (this takes about 2-3 hours).
Once the pies are cold, you can make the Riesling jelly. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the Riesling in a pan so that it gets warm (but doesn’t boil). Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out the excess water and add to the warm Riesling. Take the Riesling off the heat, dissolve the gelatine leaves and let the mixture cool down slightly (a couple of minutes). Now, use a funnel to pour some Riesling jelly into each pie hole. Do so carefully, since the liquid will come back out on the top if you pour too quickly. Pour liquid into each pie and repeat one more time.
Leave the jelly to set for 8 hours before taking the pies out of the muffin tin. These pies are eaten cold.