Mauritian Beef Rissoles Recipe

Moreish rissoles de boeuf – pastries the whole family will love

These delicious beef rissoles are proof positive that great food doesn’t need complicated recipes with hundreds of ingredients. Just flaky shortcrust pastry with a simple beef filling, you can whip up a batch in minutes. Beef rissoles are sooooo irresistibly tasty and are far easier to make than to share – read on to get the recipe my family have been using for generations.

Mauritian beef rissoles (rissoles de boeuf)

These delicate little pastries are the perfect picnic food!

I come from a family of campers. Every school holiday (no matter how short), we’d head off in our battered Datsun Cherry car for some campsite that was invariably many hours drive away on the other side of the country. Eating out wasn’t something you did as much back then, so my parents would cook up provisions for the trip for days beforehand. One essential that we always took with us was a big batch of rissoles de boeuf – beef rissoles.

This being the eighties when seat-belts were optional, our car would be piled high with camping gear; most of it squashed around us kids. There would always be a fight over seating for the journey – no-one wanted to be next to the kettle or in the boot with the dogs. The prime place was, of course, next to {or often on top of) the journey food bag – where that big box of beef rissoles would be right within grasping distance. Rarely did that box make it to the campsite with anything left inside!

a plateful of Mauritian beef rissoles

This plateful of rissoles de boeuf didn’t last long!

Les rissoles Mauriciens are often made to use up leftover bits of meat, since you only need a little bit to make enough fillings for a whole batch of rissoles. They can be eaten hot, straight from the oven; or cold, days later (in the unlikely event you have any left after that long); and being all wrapped up in pastry, they are an un-messy finger food, which is what makes them so good for journeys or picnics.

Want to give beef rissoles a go? Here’s what you’ll need.
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Beef Rissoles Recipe

Makes approximately 24 rissoles
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Eating time: 2 seconds (on average)

Before beginning, set your oven to preheat – 220°C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7 (good pastry needs a hot oven).

Ingredients for making beef rissoles

Everything you need to make a big batch of rissoles de boeuf!

Ingredients

1. 1 tbs cooking oil

2. 150g / 6oz mince beef
Go for the best quality you can, with a high fat content for the juiciest, most tender filling.

3. HALF a brown/yellow onion
Don’t be tempted to put the whole thing in – that’d be way too much! Dice your half-onion finely – you want very small pieces.

Half an onion, chopped up for Mauritian beef rissoles recipe

The main flavours in a rissole de boeuf are the rich beef and fresh thyme, which is why you don’t need too much onion.

4. 1 tsp fresh thyme
Strip from the stalks and chop the leaves finely. Here’s a little tip for stripping the thyme leaves quickly – stick the end of the thyme twig into a colander or sieve hole, and pull through. The leaves will be knocked off as it passes through the hole. Pull from the inside out, to catch them inside your holey device of choice!

Chopped thyme for making Mauritian beef rissoles

There’s nothing like the taste and smell of fresh thyme!

5. salt and pepper
To taste – but don’t be shy. I usually put about 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1/4 tsp of salt, but it varies depending on the flavour in the beef.

6. shortcrust pastry
I use ‘ready rolled’ for a really quick cook, and that’s what the cooking times here are based on. However, if you want to make your own, you’ll find the recipe for shortcrust that I use when making it from scratch at the end of this article – it’s pretty easy and quick so I really have no excuse for using ready rolled!

7. egg yolk or milk
This is to brush on to your pastry for a more golden brown finish. For this particular batch, I used a bit of milk.

Ingredients for the filling in beef rissoles.

A bit of beef, some onion, thyme and seasoning – the perfect rissole filling!

Directions for rissole de boeuf

1. Heat your tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the beef mince and cook well, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned. Don’t rush this bit; make sure that meat is really well cooked for the best flavour – it should be a dark brown colour and will have reduced in size by the time you’re finished.

Browning meat in a pan to make beef rissoles

The beef in a rissole de boeuf should be really well browned – here, the beef definitely needs more cooking!

2. Push the beef to one side of the pan, and add your onion. Cook over a medium heat until the onion has softened.

Cooking onions and beef for Mauritian beef rissoles

Like the beef, make sure those onions are well cooked!

3. Add the chopped thyme and mix the beef, onion and thyme together in the pan. Cook for another minute or two and then season with salt and pepper.

Beef and thyme filling for beef rissoles

Keep cooking the meat, onions and thyme until they are a lovely dark brown. Season to taste – gradually upping the salt and pepper until you get it just right.

4. The filling is done! Remove from heat and set aside.

Meat filling and packet of pastry for making beef rissoles

Once the filling is done, it’s time to roll out that pastry.

5. Grease or line a baking tray.

6. Take your pastry (‘ready rolled’ or home-made) and roll out on a floured surface. Roll as thin as you can – 3 or 4mm is perfect for a nice, crisp, flaky result.

Shortcrust pastry rolled out to make Mauritian beef rissoles

Ready rolled pastry is a doddle to use.

7. Using either a circle cutter or a ravioli press (around 7-8cm is a good size), cut circles from your pastry.

Circles cut in shortcrust pastry to make Mauritian beef rissoles

If you don’t have a circle cutter, just use a cup or small bowl to cut your circles of pastry.

8. Brush the edge of the circle with a little bit of water, using a pastry brush.

9. Put a teaspoon or two (at most) of filling on to one side of each circle, then fold the pastry in half over the filling to make a semi-circle.

Spoonful of filling placed on a circle of pastry to make beef rissoles.

Just need a teaspoon of beef filling is needed in each rissole.

Folded circle of pastry beef rissole

Almost done!

10. Use the tip of a fork to press down around the curved edge, where you wetted the pastry. This should help the two sides stick together and leave a pattern around the edge. Alternatively, a ravioli press will make exactly the right size and shape (use a big one though). Dock, or prick, the surface of the rissole lightly with a fork. Congratulations – you’ve made a rissole de boeuf! Well, okay, except for the cooking… don’t eat it yet…

tray of beef rissoles ready to bake.

Time to bake!

Baking your rissoles de boeuf

11. Brush the rissoles with a little bit of egg yolk or milk for a golden finish to your pastry.

12. Place the beef rissoles on your baking tray and cook in the oven for around ten-fifteen minutes, until that pastry is golden brown. Keep an eye on them – once they start to brown, they can burn very quickly.

Baked Mauritian beef rissoles on a cooling rack.

Nothing left to do now, except eat!

13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Or scoff while they’re hot if you really can’t wait, but don’t blame me if you burn your tongue.

So there you have it – beef rissoles! I don’t know why such a simple combination of flavours is so amazingly good, but it is!

A plateful of beef rissoles, one half-eaten.

This is definitely a staged shot – no-one would ever leave a rissole unfinished.

 


 

Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

While I got the recipe for beef rissoles from my father, it was my mother and her old BeRo flour cookbook that taught me how to make pastry. Shortcrust pastry is pretty simple to make – the secret is not to handle it too much, make sure that everything stays cold, and cook it in a hot oven.

This is the shortcrust pastry recipe we use when we make it from scratch.

Shortcrust pastry ingredients

1. 220g / 8oz plain flour

2. 60g / 2oz lard
Yes, so 1950! But it makes for the best pastry.

3. 60g /2oz margarine
Use margarine sold in foil-wrapped blocks, or alternatively butter; not the soft stuff that comes in tubs.
Also, the weight of the fat (the lard and marg combined) should be half the weight of the flour; so if you’re scaling up or down, make sure to keep to this ratio.

4. a pinch of salt

5. 2 tbs really cold water

Shortcrust pastry directions

1. In a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt to the flour.

2. dice the lard and margarine into small cubes, and add to the mixing bowl as well. Using your fingers, rub the fat into the flour until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency. Make sure your hands are cool and try not to handle too much. Let lots of air into the mix by rubbing bits of fat and flour above the bowl and letting it fall down into it.

3. Add the water a little bit at a time until the mix forms a stiff dough. Use a butter knife to mix with – it works better than a spoon.

4. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface. Again, don’t overdo it – too much handling makes for tough pastry.

5. Dust your rolling pin with a bit of flour, and then lightly roll out your dough. You should roll dough away from you, always in the same direction (it’s just like uncorking wine – turn the pastry, not the rolling pin).

And that’s it! Keep your dough cool until you need it – I cover and pop mine in the fridge if not using straight away.


 

Looking for more cuisine Mauricienne? Try our family’s chicken daube (Daube de Poulet) recipe for some classic Mauritian home-style comfort food.

Recipe for Mauritian chicken daube

This classic recipe for a traditional Mauritian daube has been handed down the generations in my family – and now you can learn it too!

 


 

Plateful of Mauritian beef rissoles.

Perfect nibbles – one is never enough!

13 Comments

  1. This reminds me so much of Nigerian meatpie. Perfect for diet-free days, lol. My only problem is finding the right amount to put without it spilling out when closing the dough. xx

    • Oo, will have to try those – I’ve had Jamaican patties, which are also similar, but am always happy to try other versions… 🙂 I’m currently working on an alternative vegan filling (with avocado and tofu though) for those veggie days, ‘cos you’re right – these are full-on meat!

  2. This reminds me of the Spanish empanada with minced pork and potatoes inside. Always a treat.

  3. Oh these look amazing, I’ve tried making something similar before but they never came out looking as neat as this x

    • Ah, I think the secret is rolling the pastry quite thin, and not over-stuffing! Also, don’t forget to prick the pastry – it stops them puffing up too much and cracking.

  4. We are going camping lots over this summer so I’ll keep these in mind;)

  5. These look and sound really yummy! I think they would be great for a picnic.

  6. These look delicious – they’d go down a treat here!

  7. Oh these look tasty and easy to make, my kids would enjoy making these for us. I will pin to give them a go!

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