Latvian Piragas for Latvian Independence Day

My neighbor and fellow Couchsurfer wanted to have a potluck last Thursday and since November 18th is Latvian Independence Day (from Russia in 1918)  he decided to throw a Latvian Independence Day potluck! I admit that I had to first look up where Latvia is on a map before scouting for which recipe I would make.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s here:

I decided to make piragas as my dish since they were one of the first hits that came up on google when I typed in “Latvian Recipes” and they are pocket food (i.e., stuffed food such as ravioli, pierogies, samosas – I explained my love for pocket food in an earlier post).

Here’s the recipe:

Latvian Pirags recipe adapted from


  • 1 box Pillsbury hot roll mix
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg for egg wash


1. Saute the onion in 1 Tbsp of oil.  Add the garlic after the onion has softened.

2. Add the ground beef and season with pepper and dill.  Saute until fully cooked.

3. Drain excess fat & allow to cool.  I refrigerated mine over night to allow the flavor to absorb.

4. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

5. Make the yeast rolls according to the instructions on the pillsbury box.

6.  After the yeast rolls have risen to double in size take each roll and place a tablespoon of the beef mixture in the center.  Stretch and fold the dough over the top of the meat and pinch to seal.  I also used a fork the press the dough together.

7.  Wash all the piragas with egg wash and bake for 10-12 minutes.

8.  After removing them from the oven brush the tops with melted butter.

Here are some shots from the potluck:

The spread

Delicious Latvian meatball soup

Something similar to whole wheat pierogies


2 responses to “Latvian Piragas for Latvian Independence Day

  1. they look yummy! enviable spread…

  2. OH BOY!?! Pillsbury hot roll mix? Ground beef? OH MY!!!

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