Jewish Meat Hand Pies – Маина
This meat pie recipe is a portion of savory comfort food that you’ll crave again and again. A large braided puff pastry is stuffed with either chicken or beef alongside noodles, then served with a cup of bullion for you to dip into and enjoy. It’s fantastic!
Meat Hand Pies
These are no ordinary meat hand pies—these are actually a Jewish celebration food, called “Маина” (pronounced – “muh-ee-nuh”), or Maina.
I lived nowhere close to Israel as a child, but I do remember Maina being a part of our holiday tables as well. The memory was triggered in my mind after coming across these meat hand pies again recently at a baby shower, and I was determined to make these myself for my family to enjoy.
My family was definitely glad I did..this might be their favorite of all the savory dough recipes! What could be better than a hot, crispy, flaky meat hand pie filled with juicy meat and noodles? Truly, not much, I tell ya. These were consumed right out of the oven with ‘mmmm’s and ‘yum!’s in a blink of an eye!
Tips for Making This Meat Pastry
- Use the small puff pastry squares. The 6 x 6-inch version is perfect for this recipe. Plus, you don’t have to knead the dough when you use puff pastry – win!
- Set out the puff pastry at room temperature to thaw. If you set it on a paper towel, it should dethaw in 15 minutes or so.
- Get creative with fillings. This meat pastry is totally customizable! Try different meats like chicken or ground beef, vegetables, and seasonings, or even braised sauerkraut or eggs.
- Braid the top of the dough after filling to give it a finished look. It’s exactly like braiding hair—divide into thirds and start braiding.
- Give the top of the pastry an egg wash with a pastry brush. This will add both the golden brown color and shine to your meat pastry!
- Maina can be made in advance. When you are ready to serve it, pull it out of the fridge and heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes. This will give the outside that crispiness we all love from puff pastry.
- Serve this meat pastry with or without soup. Traditionally, this is dipped in bullion or beef broth, and it’s absolutely delicious. However, it’s a great recipe on its own too!
How to Make This Jewish Meat Pie Recipe
Find the full detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
- Warm water up to a boil, then cook and season your meat with peeled onion and carrot until super tender. Remove and set aside meat while retaining liquid for dipping afterward.
- Cook your spaghetti. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Set out your puff pastry to thaw and preheat the oven.
- Grind your meat with a meat grinder attachment like this one, then mix your meat with the herbs and spices.
- Cut your spaghetti to size – they should be even and aligned with the puff pastry squares.
- Top a square with egg wash, then the spaghetti and meat filling. Fold the pastry from right to left to make a roulade. Braid the top of the pastry (optional).
- Brush the tops of each meat pie with egg wash, then bake until golden in color.
- Serve hot out of the oven with a cup of the meat broth.
Jewish Meat Hand-pies "Маина"
This meat pie recipe is total comfort food. Braided puff pastry is stuffed with meat and noodles, then served with a cup of bullion to dip into. YUM!
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water beaten together
Fill a pot with 3 quarts of water, place on the stove and turn the heat to high. Wash the meat and put it into the pot. If cooking chicken add the peeled onion and peeled carrot to the pot right away. Bring it to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to low and cook until the meat is fork tender. With a skimmer, skim the water for impurities that float to the top throughout the whole cooking process. Cook until tender (chicken 1 hour, beef 3 hours). For beef, add the carrot and onion after 2 hours of cooking.
Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain the spaghetti and rinse with cold running water. Set aside.
Once the meat is fork tender, remove it from the pot into a separate bowl. Let cool.
Fold the paper towel about 2-3 times and place it over a colander, making sure that the paper towel extends over the colander. Drain the meat broth and reserve for serving with the puff pastry.
Sautee the onion with the oil, until light golden in color.
Take the puff pastry out of the freezer, place on a paper towel and allow to thaw.
Turn the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
Put the meat through the grinder.
Add the sautéed onion, minced garlic, black pepper and salt to the ground meat and mix well. If the meat feels very dry, add a couple of tablespoons heavy cream.
On a paper towel, untangle and align the spaghetti, so that all the strands are even and aligned. Cut them to the length of the puff pastry (two bunches about 6 inches long, then one will be 3 inches long).
Brush the top of each puff pastry square with the egg wash. Closer to the right edge, place about 8-10 strands of spaghetti (pre-cut to size) and about 3 full tablespoons of the meat filling. With your hands press the filling down. Make one fold from the right, towards left, making a roulade and placing the roulade seem side down.
Transfer to the baking sheet. With a serrated knife, make diagonal cuts on top of each pie, cutting through about every 1/2 an inch. Repeat with the rest of the pastry dough and filling, placing each hand-pie about 2 inches apart.
If you want to achieve the “braid” look, without actually braiding the pastry, make the cuts diagonally, alternating between going from top right towards left bottom, and then left top towards right bottom, without the cuts meeting each other.
If you want to get braid the puff pastry, visually divide the square into 3 equal rectangles, with a knife, make diagonal cuts on the right third of the puff pastry, about 1/3 inch apart, then on the left 1/3 of the square. Put the filling in the middle, press it down to compress. Now take one strand from the right and pull over the filling, then take a strand from the left and pull it towards the right strand and press them together. Repeat in similar fashion with the rest of the strands.
Brush each hand pie with egg wash.
Place the sheet with the pies in the oven.
Bake @ 425°F for about 15 minutes or until golden in color.
Remove from the oven and serve right away.
Serve each pastry with a cup of the meat broth, sprinkling the broth with some fresh chopped parsley.
Bake the hand pies in advance and put them in the oven for 5-6 minutes @ 350, right before serving.
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