La Vache Qui Rit (Laughing Cow Cheese) is used to make a cheesy ground beef (kefta) filling for tender pastry. Make these ahead of time and have them on hand in your freezer to serve in Ramadan or as an appetizer or tea time treat.
Allow ample time for chilling your dough before rolling it out. If time is short, you can substitute store bought puff pastry dough for the homemade pastry, but the result will appear different than the photo.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Approx. 28 pastries
- --- For the Pastry Dough ---
- 2 cups (250g) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (145g) cold margarine
- 1 egg yolk, unbeaten
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) hot water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- --- For the Filling ---
- 1 lb. (450g) ground beef
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- black or cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 egg
- 8 portions Laughing Cow (La Vache Qui Rit) Cheese
- --- Egg Wash ---
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
1. Make the Pastry Dough Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the margarine, cutting it into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add the egg yolk, vinegar and hot water, and stir with a fork just until all of the mixture is moistened and a ball of dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours or longer.
2. Make the Filling Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until the beef is browned. Stir frequently, pressing on the meat with the back of your spoon to break up any clumps of cooked beef. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the liquids. Add the parsley, salt and black pepper (or cayenne) to taste, and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, beat together the flour and egg. Gradually whisk in the milk. Add the cheese and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the sauce to the ground beef and stir to combine.
3. Make the Pastries Prepare two baking sheets by lightly oiling them or lining them with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough 1/8" thick. Using a 3" round cutter (or a wide-mouthed glass), cut out circles of dough. Gather up the scraps of dough, press them together (don't knead) and roll out again.
Take a circle of dough and gently stretch it into an oval. Brush or dab a little water on the edges of the lower half. Add a tablespoon of filling to the bottom half, and fold the top of the dough over the filling, pressing the edges of dough together with a fork to seal.
Transfer the the filled pastry to your prepared pan, and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
4. Bake the Pastries Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C). Brush the tops of the pastries with an egg wash made from an egg yolk beaten with a tablespoon of water. Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes (rotate your pans from top to bottom halfway through cooking), or until light golden in color. Serve the pastries while warm, or transfer to a rack to cool completely before freezing.
Note: To reheat frozen pastries, place them on a baking sheet in a 350° F (180° C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until hot.