Growing up I ate these and we all loved them and knew they were something special from the old country, Latvia. Not until I first came to Latvia did I taste a real Latvian pirag with spekis. Spekis is a smoked pork fat, something like bacon, and gives such a wonderful taste and aroma. These are an essential at any holiday occasion here in Latvia. You can buy them at the bakeries, or if traditions are strong make yourself at home, like we did for Easter!
Try these and make sure to eat them warm!
At least 600 g. spekis or ham, or bacon. (When I make these in the USA, I use 1 pkg. bacon finely chopped and ham as well as ham. Do no throw the bacon fat away!)
1 chopped onion
1 egg- beaten and mixed with a little water.
1. Choose meet. This is what the meat I used looked like. It is thoroughly cooked and read to chop. If you use bacon you will need to cook it. Do no over cook it. It does not need to be crispy. Add chopped ham and onion.
2. Mix all meat together, and add onion. Cook just until onion is tender.
3. Roll a section of the dough very thin, and put a teaspoon of meat mixture near edge.
4. Fold over and seal.
5. Cut with a cup. By using a cup and folding you save time and it helps make them all uniform in size. If you don’t like using this method you can of course make little balls and roll or pat them out as we used to as kids. I much prefer the method Aunt Baiba taught me of rolling them out like this as it is much easier and faster.
6. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash
7. Let rise and bake until golden. YUMMY
NOTE: My grandma always would brush them with water and sugar mixture when they came out o the oven to make them shiny. Aunt Baiba didn’t mention this so I skip it. It does make them sweeter if you desire that.
If you have left over dough you can make it into cinnamon rolls, or poppy seeds rolls.
Warm left over ones before serving- they are always tastier warm.