“Маина” (pronounced – “muh-ee-nuh”) is a Jewish celebration meat roulade that’s made with puff pastry and meat. Usually it’s made as one big roulade, then is sliced and served with a hot cup of bullion. I lived nowhere close to Israel as a child, but I do remember Maina being a part of our holiday tables as well.
Just a couple of weeks ago I attended a baby shower and they had it there, that’s when I realized that I have never made it myself. This was something that I just had to fix. My family was definitely glad I did! What could be better then a hot, crispy and flaky pocket filled with juicy meat and noodles? Nothing, I tell ya! we had no soup to go with these, but that’s just because I realized that it’s usually served with soup, only when it came out of the oven. These did not survive the wait and were consumed with ‘mmmm’s and ‘yum!’s in a blink of an eye!
Even though, as I mentioned above they are supposed to be made into one roulade and then sliced, I had only small pieces of puff pastry in the freezer (6×6 inches squares), so I decided to put what I had to use. Now, my opinion is that if they knew how much better the individual hand pies are, they would have never come up with the other version. It’s much easier to hold it this way, as the filling does not fall out and everything is very neatly contained inside the pocket.
Maina can be baked in advance, then heated in the oven right before serving to give the outside that crispiness we all love from puff pastry. Also, you can go crazy with the filling choices because this thing can handle pretty much anything, – meat, vegetables, braised sauerkraut, eggs, well you get it; the name might change, but that does not impact the taste, so you’ve got a win-win situation, no matter which way you do it.
So go ahead, make it for your family. Make them realize just how lucky they are to have you. After all, if they didn’t have you, you would have never seen this, and therefore they might’ve forever missed out on this deliciousness!