Salmon Pirog

Russian-Alaskan Salmon Pie

Salmon Pirog

Serves: 4 | Difficulty:

Our member, Nancy Melvin, has Russian family who lived in Sitka during the 19th century. Nancy offers this wonderful Russian-Alaskan recipe for a salmon pirog, a large family-style pie. Nancy emphasizes organics in this recipe, as it more genuinely reflects the ingredients her Alaskan family used. You can bake this in a dish or, for a fancier presentation (on Christmas, for example), Nancy recommends molding the pastry into a packet and decorating the top; this preparation is called a coulibac and represents French-style Russian cuisine.

Fun fact: Nancy's great grandfather, Nicholas, was a priest at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka during the 1860s and visited many of his parishioners by kayak! 

Ingredients

2 lbs. salmon fillet (or Sitka Salmon burger meat)
2 cups long grained organic Basmati rice
3 organic scallions
5 medium organic onions
¼ to ½ lb organic butter
5 hard boiled organic eggs
Sea salt and organic pepper to taste

3½ cups organic unbleached flour ( plus ½ cup reserved for rolling out dough)
1 lb. organic butter
1 cup ice water (water in a 1 cup measure with ice cubes will be less volume than a full cup of water)
1 organic egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Directions

Preheat oven to 500°F.

For the filling
Wash and dry fish. Remove bones and skin, if necessary. Cook rice.Sauté onions until golden in butter, add to rice and season with salt and pepper. Dice hard boiled eggs and chop raw scallion into small rings. Add both to rice. Let mixture cool.

For the pastry
Mix flour and butter in a mixer, until small crumbles form. Add water; only enough to work mixture into a ball. Chill dough.

Roll out on a floured board to make two sheets, a larger one for bottom and sides, and a smaller one for the top. Place bottom sheet of dough into baking dish (approx. 15"x 10" x 2") with draped over sides. Spoon half the rice mixture evenly into the dish. Then spread raw salmon fillets across the top of the rice as evenly as possible. Top with the rest of the rice mixture. Place the second sheet of pastry on top and roll up the edges, crimp to seal. Cut vents into the top of the pastry, and decorate if desired. Brush top with egg yolk & water mixture.

Place pirog into the oven, turning temperature down to 450°F. Bake 30-50 minutes until a rich brown color and flaky.

Cut slices and add more salt, pepper or butter as wanted.

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