Beef turnovers

beef turnovers latvian food recipe

Beef turnovers (buljona pīrādziņi, literally “broth pies”) are distant cousins of popular bacon pies (pīrāgi); they are more delicate and slightly more time consuming. Nevertheless, they are worth the effort and can be enjoyed hot (with a cup of broth) or cold (as a snack). Back in Latvia they would be available in any bakery and street-side shop.

The recipe can be simplified by replacing steak with mince (just skip Step 1 and 3).

Beef turnovers

1 hour, 15 minutes

Beef turnovers


  • 6 sheets puff pastry (roughly 22 x 22 cm)
  • 400g chuck steak or gravy beef
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper


  1. Place the beef in a medium saucepan, add the bay leaf, garlic, one half of the onion and pepper, cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Skim impurities that may surface.
  2. Meanwhile finely chop the other half of the onion.
  3. Strain the beef over a bowl and preserve the liquid.
  4. Remove the beef, cut in chunks and process in a food processor until finely chopped.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan, add chopped onion and fry until translucent. Add the beef and fry for 2 minutes. Add a cup of preserved stock and simmer for couple minutes until most of the liquid gets absorbed/evaporates. Remove from the heat and season well.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Cut each puff pastry square in 9 smaller squares. Place a teaspoon of beef mixture in the middle of the square, fold over to create a triangle and push the edges closed. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.
  8. Transfer turnovers on to the baking tray. Lightly brush each pastry with a whisked egg. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.


Beef turnovers can be served hot or cold.

1 Comment

  1. Sandra
    September 28, 2023

    You have brought back so many childhood memories with your recipes.
    My parents too came to Australia in 1949 and lived in Melbourne.
    I now live in Brisbane and always make sauerkraut, potatoe salad and pirages every Easter and Christmas.
    I remember eating the buljona but in crepes. delicious.
    I’m going to make some today.


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