This savory beef pie with puff pastry (pastel is the Spanish and Portuguese word for pastry) is adapted from my grandmother Mati’s recipe.
The seasoned beef recipe makes five cups and can be used to make moussaka and stuffed peppers, as well as this pie.
For the seasoned ground beef:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
For the pastel:
- 3 large eggs
- seasoned ground beef
- 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- To make the seasoned ground beef, warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not begun to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the beef, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, stirring to incorporate the beef, and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through and begins to brown, another 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- To make the pastel, beat 2 of the eggs in a large bowl, add the cooled seasoned beef, and mix to blend. Set aside.
- Press one of the puff pastry sheets onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-by-11-inch baking dish. Spoon the beef-egg mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the parsley and dill. Lay the remaining sheet of puff pastry on top, pressing lightly to seal the edges. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator for an hour or to the freezer for 15 minutes to chill well before baking; the puff pastry should be firm and cold to the touch.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Beat the remaining egg and brush the top of the puff pastry, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.