Happy Rosh Hashanah, everyone! Ordinarily there would be a brisket in the oven and chicken soup on the stove, but plans have been downsized this year. For the longest time I’ve been craving a really good meat knish, like the ones my mother used to make from leftover brisket and puff pastry.
I made a batch of my favorite beef stew over the weekend, with chunks of richly-marbled chuck cut to the size of short ribs, and had just four pieces of the meat left over with a bit of the gravy and baby carrots. The inspiration for knishes was right there under my nose!
Called Trader Joe’s to make sure they had their superb puff pastry in stock – just $3.99 for an 18.3-ounce package of pure butteriness imported from France (far superior in taste, texture, and handle-ability to Pepperidge Farm), and I was off to the races.
The filling was a breeze to improvise, and the first batch – which I’ve resisted tasting until my darling husband comes home – is fresh out of the oven, just as I had imagined:
MINI PUFF PASTRY MEAT KNISHES
Filling: Leftover brisket or beef stew chunks, about 2 cups, with some of the gravy; 1 small sweet onion chopped fine and sauteed to soften in olive oil, bacon fat, or schmaltz; 1 lightly beaten egg; S&P to taste.
Pastry: One package Trader Joe’s Puff Pastry, thawed for 2 hours and gently unrolled from their wax wrappings. No need to roll out any further. No pesky seam, either, like you get with Pepperidge Farm.
Egg wash: One large egg lightly beaten with one Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 400.
Pulse the meat in your food processor to small shreds – do not puree. Mix together in a medium bowl with egg, sauteed onion, S&P.
Spread one pastry sheet on lightly floured surface, brush lightly with egg wash, and score with a pizza wheel into 16 squarish sections. Place a spoonful of meat filling in center of each and shape them by pulling up all four corners, pinching together wherever necessary to totally enclose the filling. Place on your baking sheet and lightly brush again with the egg wash. Bake about 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove to rack to cool.
Best use of leftover braised meat I can imagine.