If you’re like me, and I know I am, I will periodically peer into my freezer and, with an electric moment of lucidity, notice items in my freezer that have been there a conspicuously long time and need to be used before being completely lost to freezer burn. This was the situation last weekend with some ground beef and a box of puff pastry sheets.
But the challenge was what to make with each of those that didn’t require me going to store to buy a whole bunch of other ingredients, and that could be re-frozen for use at a later date.
The answer was Meat & Cheese Turnovers. And, oh my goodness, they are incredible! I had one immediately. (I have to taste-test the recipe, right?) And the next day I had to test how a frozen one would reheat, right? So I had another. And then another. And then another. Four days….four turnovers. But I’m not ashamed. After you try this recipe, you’ll understand. I promise.
Start by thawing one sheet of puff pastry. Thawing it slowly overnight is best (it cracks less that way). But if you don’t have time, or are impatient (like me), you can also thaw it on the counter, and then just fix any breaks as you roll it out.
In a large sauté pan sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until it’s softened. Add the garlic and continue sautéing until you can smell the garlic – about a minute or so (be careful not to burn it).
Add the ground meat and break it up so it mixes with the onions and garlic. I used ground sirloin, but you can use any kind of ground meat. Ground chicken or turkey would work very well here. Continue to break up the meat so no large pieces form.
While the meat is cooking, in a small bowl whisk the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper until it’s completely combined. When the meat is completely cooked, drain (if needed), then add the Worcestershire/mustard sauce and mix until evenly distributed. Set the meat aside to cool slightly.
While the meat is cooling, roll out the puff pastry until it makes a 12-13 inch square. Use a little bit if flour on your counter, and on the rolling pin, so the pastry sheet doesn’t stick. If it cracks along the fold, you can use a little water as glue and then pinch it back together.
Add the cheese to the mostly-cooled meat mixture and stir until it’s evenly distributed. You may need to grate a little extra cheese if you like to nibble on it as you’re cooking. Not that I’m speaking from experience, of course. ‘Cuz I would never do such a thing.
If you have any leftover veggies – corn, peas, green beans – you can add those, too. And this would be the time to add them.
Cut the dough into four even squares. Add about 1/2 cup meat mixture to each square. (You’ll notice you have a LOT of meat mixture leftover, and that’s OK. Put it in a storage container and put it in the fridge. I’ll post a recipe in the next couple days of the perfect thing to make with it.)
In a small bowl, beat the egg, then brush the edges of all four pastries. Fold pastries from corner to corner, pressing out the air as you go. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.
If you don’t plan on cooking all four turnovers now, place the remaining turnovers into individual zip-top quart-size bags and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook each one, continue with the next step. They turn out just as yummy cooking them after freezing as they do when cooked fresh.
Place your turnover on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. (You don’t have to use parchment paper, but I’m lazy and don’t like to do dishes.) Brush the turnover with more egg. Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. The turnover will be lava-hot when it comes out of the oven, so resist the urge to bite into it right away.
Here’s the complete recipe. Enjoy!
1 pound ground meat
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons spicy brown, or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheese
1 sheet puff pastry dough
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1) In a large sauté pan, sauté onion in oil until onions are softened. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
2) Add ground meat to onion mixture, and break into small pieces.
3) Whisk Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper until combined.
4) When meat is thoroughly cooked, drain if needed. Add Worcestershire sauce mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Set meat aside to cool.
5) While meat is cooling, roll out sheet of puff pastry to 12-13 inch square, using flour to make sure it doesn’t stick. Cut dough into four even squares.
6) Add cheese to cooled meat and stir to distribute.
7) Add 1/2 cup meat mixture to each pastry square.
8) Beat egg and brush edges of each pastry with egg wash.
9) Fold pastries corner-to-corner. Press out air, then crimp edges with a fork to seal.
10) At this point, any pastries that will not be cooked right away should be put in individual zip-top quart bags and placed in freezer.
11) Place pastry on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, and place in pre-heated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.
12) To cook frozen pastry, place frozen pastry on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake in pre-heated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.