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Macedonian Pizza (Pastrmajlija) (recipe)

Пастрмајлија – Pastrmajlija (Puss-ter-my-lee-yah)

Typical of Macedonian cuisine, Pastrmajlija is an oval, or rectangular shaped pizza dough dressed with meat in the center and topped with an egg wash, or fried eggs. The term Pastrmajlija comes from the word pastrma, meaning salted and dried/smoked meat. The traditional way of making this is with cured meat, but for the sake of simplicity, I chopped up a pork chop.

If you’re out of dried meat, the alternative for this pizza is always pork.

You will need:
◾1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
◾1/2 teaspoon salt
◾1 teaspoon instant yeast
◾1/2 cup lukewarm water
◾1 teaspoon olive oil
◾4 tablespoons All-Vegetable Shortening, divided
◾1 cup center-cut pork chops, cut in cubes
◾2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
◾salt and black pepper to taste
◾1 whole egg

◾In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and stir well to combine.
◾Stir in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water; mix until all of the flour is absorbed. You may need a little bit more or less liquid to moisten the entire mixture.
◾Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, shaping the dough into a ball.
◾Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
◾Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
◾Preheat oven at 425.
◾Take the dough and knead it again, briefly, on a lightly floured surface.
◾Roll the dough into an oval shape, about 1/4 inch thick, spread 2 tablespoons of all-vegetable shortening all over the dough, and then place it on a baking sheet.
◾Get the pork and cut it into cubes.
◾Season the pork with cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt to taste.
◾Press the meat into the center of the dough, leaving 2-inch border.
◾Put dabs of the rest of the all-vegetable shortening on top of the meat.
◾Fold border, with the fold touching, but not covering the meat.
◾Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until meat is done.
◾In the meantime, break the egg into a small bowl and whisk it. Continue to whisk the egg until it is smooth and no strings cling to the fork.
◾Take out the pizza and brush the tops of the crust with the egg. Pour the rest of the egg on top of the meat, evenly across.
◾Put the pizza back into the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the egg is cooked.
◾Let pizza cool on a wire rack.



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