There is arguably no culinary combination more satisfying, more comforting, than meat wrapped in dough, whether it's fried, baked, steamed, or otherwise prepared. This duo appears in various forms in many different cultures, from empanadas to knishes, meat pies to dumplings, and plenty of these can be found around Boston. For The Five Days of Meat, here's a guide to where to try some of the greatest types of meat-wrapped-in-dough offerings available in these parts.
[Photo: Beef Wellington at Mooo..../Facebook]
A tough find in the summer, Beef Wellington is a hearty meal traditionally consisting of beef tenderloin topped with pâté and duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked. It pops up on many more menus during the colder months, but here are a few that are currently available.
· Marliave: Wellington (medium rare beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, foie gras, pastry crust, red wine sauce). 10 Bosworth Street, Boston [Downtown Crossing]
· Mooo….: Tenderloin of Beef Wellington (foie gras, spinach, duxelle). 15 Beacon Street, Boston [Beacon Hill]
· OAK Long Bar + Kitchen: Tenderloin Beef Wellington (shaved brisket, caramelized onions, portobello, thyme madeira jus). 138 St. James Avenue, Boston [Back Bay]
[Photo: Empanada at Machu Picchu/Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
Found throughout many parts of Latin America and beyond, empanadas come in lots of different styles, most often a half-moon shape of pastry stuffed with meat (or other fillings) and either baked or fried. The Argentine style, for example, usually has a wheat flour dough and can be baked or fried, while Colombian empanadas are most often fried, and the dough is cornmeal-based. Peruvian empanadas are typically baked and are on the smaller side compared to Argentine empanadas, although the standard fillings are similar. And that's just the tip of the empanada iceberg. Here's a varied selection to try, touching on a number of different styles.
· Barcelona Wine Bar: Spiced Beef Empanadas (red pepper sauce). 1700 Beacon Street, Brookline. [Washington Square]
· Capone Foods: Argentine Empanadas (two meat options: prosciutto or beef/pork mix. Sold frozen.) 14 Bow Street, Somerville [Union Square]
· El Centro: Empanadas (four meat options: beef, chicken, pork, or marinated pork). 472 Shawmut Avenue, Boston [South End]; 236 Washington Street, Brookline; 66 Leonard Street, Belmont
· El Diez Argentinian Grill: Empanadas (two meat options: beef or chicken). [Food Truck]
· Machu Picchu and Machu Chicken: Peruvian Empanada (beef). 307 Somerville Avenue and 25 Union Square, Somerville [Union Square]
Mi Rancho Restaurante: Empanada (beef or chicken). 45 Meridian Street, Boston [East Boston]
· Orinoco: Empanada Mechada (Venezuelan-style empanada with stewed, shredded beef). 477 Shawmut Avenue, Boston [South End]; 22 Harvard Street, Brookline [Brookline Village]; 56 JFK Street, Cambridge [Harvard Square].
· The Painted Burro: Dos Empanadas (spiced beef, sweet corn, potato, oven-dried onion dip). 219 Elm Street, Somerville [Davis Square]
· Rincon Limeño: Empanadas (Choose baked Peruvian-style with chicken or fried Colombian-style with beef.) 409 Chelsea Street, Boston [East Boston]
· Rosa Mexicano: Empanadas de Pollo con Chorizo (corn masa empanadas with chicken tinga, Mexican chorizo, queso menonita, mestiza crema). 115 Seaport Boulevard, Boston [Seaport District]
· Que Padre: Salteña (Bolivian empanada filled with chicken or beef, peas, potatoes, olives, and egg). 386 Chelsea Street, Boston [East Boston]
· Tres Gatos: Empanada (braised beef, spicy crema). 470 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
· Vejigantes: Pastelillos de Pollo, Res, o Jueyes (empanadas with chicken, beef, or crabmeat). 57 West Dedham Street, Boston [South End]
Jamaican Beef Patties
[Photo: Patties at Island Style Jamaican Restaurant/Facebook]
These flaky pastries are often a bright yellow-orange color thanks to the addition of turmeric, and they may be shaped like a half-oval or a little more boxy around the corners. While ground beef is probably the most common filling, it can also be fish, chicken, or other options. Often eaten with coco bread.
· The Coast Café: Beef Patty (or beef and cheese patty). 233 River Street, Cambridge
· Island Style Jamaican Restaurant: Patties (beef or chicken). 183 Washington Street, Dorchester
· Izzy's Restaurant: Jamaican Patties. 169 Harvard Street, Cambridge [East Cambridge/Kendall Square]
· Singh's Roti Shop: Beef Patty with Cheese. 692 Columbia Road, Dorchester
· Some 'Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant: Patties (beef or chicken). 561 McGrath Highway, Somerville
[Photo: Pastrami Knish at Evan's NY Style Deli Food Truck/Facebook]
The large potato-filled version of this classic Eastern European food is readily available from street vendors in New York, but it's harder to find meat-filled knishes. Here in Boston, the meaty ones are much more readily available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, stuffed with beef or occasionally pastrami, wherever Jewish cuisine can be found.
· Barry's Village Deli: Our Famous Homemade Knishes (beef). 6 Windsor Road, Newton [Waban Square]
· Evan's NY Style Deli Food Truck: Hot Knishes (pastrami, beef, or reuben). [Food Truck]
· Inna's Kitchen: Knishes (meat). 19 Pelham Street, Newton [Newton Centre]
· Michael's Deli: Hot Knish (pastrami, beef, and "krazy" daily specials). 256 Harvard Street, Brookline [Coolidge Corner]
· Rubin's Kosher Restaurant: Two Knish Platter (meat). 500 Harvard Street, Brookline
· S&S Restaurant: Knishes (three hot beef knishes). 1334 Cambridge Street, Cambridge [Inman Square]
· Zaftigs Delicatessen: Homemade Knishes (meat or reuben with Russian dressing). 335 Harvard Street, Brookline [Coolidge Corner]
Koldunai / Pelmeni / Pierogi
[Photo: Pierogi at Cafe Polonia/Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
Various types of potato-and/or-cheese pierogi can be found easily enough around town, but there are somewhat fewer meat-filled options of these Polish dumplings, typically served boiled or fried. Russian pelmeni and Lithuanian koldunai are similar, as are Ukrainian varenyky (let us know if you've spotted the latter in the Boston area.)
· Bazaar: Pierogi and Pelmeni (various fillings, available at the deli counter and for catering). 424 Cambridge Street, Allston; 1432 Beacon Street, Brookline
· Cafe Polonia: Pierogi (meat). 611 Dorchester Avenue, Boston [South Boston]
· Cafe St. Petersburg: Siberian Pelimeni (Russian-style meat ravioli with sour cream or vinegar). 57 Union Street, Newton [Newton Centre]
· Crystal Restaurant: Homemade Dumplings (foie gras & duck or veal & beef). 20 Linden Street, Allston
· Lithuanian Kitchen at South Boston Lithuanian Club: Koldunai (homemade meat dumplings with bacon bits and sour cream). 368 West Broadway, Boston [South Boston]
· Liquid Art House: Sour Cherry Dumplings (foie gras, pine nuts, rose, herbs. Included on this list because executive chef Rachel Klein is said to have drawn inspiration from Eastern European cuisine.) 100 Arlington Street, Boston [Park Square]
· Russell House Tavern: Marrow and Oxtail Pierogi (charred scallion sour cream, chive oil, crispy hen-of-the-woods). 14 JFK Street, Cambridge [Harvard Square]
Mantu / Manti
[Photo: Mantu at Ariana/Facebook]
These Turkic dumplings are usually small pouches gathered at the top, stuffed with spiced ground lamb or beef and either boiled or steamed. Around here, they can be found in Turkish and Afghan cuisine.
· Ariana: Mantu (pastry shells filled with onions and beef, served on yogurt, topped with carrots, yellow split peas, and beef sauce). 129 Brighton Avenue, Allston
· Brookline Family Restaurant: Manti (finely chopped onions, ground lamb, herbs, egg, salt, tomatoes, butter, paprika, pepper, garlic yogurt). 305 Washington Street, Brookline
· The Helmand: Mantwo (pastry shells filled with onions and beef, served on yogurt, topped with carrots, yellow split peas, and beef sauce). 143 First Street, Cambridge [East Cambridge / Kendall Square]
· Pasha: Manti (boiled Turkish ravioli stuffed with ground lamb and beef with herbs, topped with tomato sauce, yogurt, and butter sauce). 669a Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
[Photo: Meat Pies at KO Catering & Pies in South Boston/Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
Just what it sounds like, really. Meat pies are most often found in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa, and they can be the size of a standard dessert pie or a smaller hand pie (the latter being particularly prevalent in Australia and New Zealand). Fillings vary widely, although gravy is a frequent component.
· Aurum: Pies (Syrian-inspired savory and sweet pies stuffed with a variety of meats and vegetables). 377 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
· Cuppacoffee: Pies (five-inch Australian pies with a variety of fillings, including steak, Thai chicken, and more). 1 Merrimac Street, Boston [Downtown]
· Hit Wicket: Aussie Pie Floater (green pea soup with upside-down meat pie). 1172 Cambridge Street, Cambridge [Inman Square]
· KO Catering & Pies: Pies (a variety of Australian meat pies, stuffed with beef, lamb, etc.). 87 A Street, Boston [South Boston] and 256 Marginal Street, Building 16, Boston [East Boston]
· Park: Meat Pie of the Day (served with seasonal pudding). 59 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA [Harvard Square]
· Suya Joint: Beef Meat Pies (seasoned ground beef wrapped in pie crust and baked until golden). 25 Poplar Street, Roslindale
[Photo: Momo at Kathmandu Spice/Facebook]
These Nepalese dumplings are usually made with a white flour dough and a ground meat filling (often goat, buffalo, or yak in regions of Nepal, Tibet, and beyond). Typically round or half-moon shaped and steamed, although they can also be fried. It's common to serve them with a tomato-based chutney for dipping.
· Kathmandu Spice: Chicken Momo (filled with ground chicken and served with spicy tomato sauce). 166 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington [East Arlington]
· Martsa on Elm: Beef or Pork Momo (onion, garlic, ginger; steamed or fried). 233 Elm Street, Somerville [Davis Square]
· Masala: Mo-Mo Cha (steamed Nepali chicken dumplings with chutney and soup). 1127 Broadway, Somerville [Teele Square]
· Rangzen Tibetan Place: Langsha Momo (minced beef dumplings with spinach, cabbage, ginger, garlic, cilantro) and Chhasha Momo (minced chicken dumplings with spinach, cabbage, ginger, garlic, cilantro). 24 Pearl Street, Cambridge [Central Square]
· Yak & Yeti: Chicken Mo-Mo (Nepali-style steamed chicken dumplings with chutney). 719 Broadway, Somerville [Teele Square]
Xiao Long Bao / Soup Dumplings
Steamed Chinese buns, particularly found in Shanghai and Wuxi cuisines. They're often filled with pork or a pork and crabmeat mix as well as a hot broth, which comes from a gelatinous aspic that becomes liquid when the dumplings are steamed. To eat, it's best to start by carefully nibbling off the top and slurping out the soup. Usually served with vinegar and ginger.
· Dumpling Cafe: Mini Juicy Buns (pork or pork & crabmeat). 695 Washington Street, Boston [Chinatown]
· Dumpling House: Mini Soup Dumplings (pork or pork & crabmeat). 950 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge [Central Square]
· Gourmet Dumpling House: Mini Juicy Dumplings (pork or pork & crabmeat). 52 Beach Street, Boston [Chinatown]
· Jo Jo TaiPei: JoJo Special Soup Dumpling and Crab Meat Soup Dumpling. 103 Brighton Avenue, Allston
· Taiwan Cafe: Mini Steamed Buns (pork). 34 Oxford Street, Boston [Chinatown]
· Zoe's Gourmet Chinese Cuisine (reopening July 2014): Steamed Juicy Pork Buns. 296-298 Beacon Street, Somerville [Porter Square]