Pasteitje met Ragout is a holiday classic from the Netherlands. These puff pastry shells are filled with a creamy chicken and mushroom gravy and are the perfect appetizer for your holiday menu.
I first came across Pasteitje met Ragout on The Dutch Table and they quickly became a family favorite. Hand-constructed puff pastry shells (you can also use store-bought) are filled with a creamy gravy and are often served as an appetizer or starter during the Christmas season. I made a Kippenragout (chicken gravy) for the filling, but also came across versions with shrimp, beef, veal, or even rabbit. For a vegetarian option, replace the chicken with additional mushrooms or maybe some carrots and use vegetable stock.
In the Netherlands, the puff pastry shells are readily available in the frozen section of supermarkets. I have also seen prepackaged puff pastry shells by Pepperidge Farm here in the United States, but have not tried them yet. If not available, Pasteitjes can be made fairly easily using sheets of puff pastry.
If frozen, thaw the puff pastry sheet(s) at room temperature until pliable (1-2 hours). Roll on a lightly floured surface to create and even sheet and remove any creases. Use a 4 inch circle cutter (I used a scalloped one to make a more decorative outline) or the edges of a bowl and a knife to cut out as many circles as you can from the puff pastry sheet. Use a smaller cutter, about 3 inches, to cut out smaller circles from half of the 4 inch circles. This will create borders to make the puff pastry into a cup shape and the smaller circle created can be used as a lid.
The edges of the 4 inch whole circles are brushed with water and topped with the borders to form the cups. I pricked the entire area with a fork to help it evenly rise in the oven and not overly puff. Brenda from Brenda Kookt recommends cutting out more circles and topping the puff pastry shells with a second (or third) border for more height. Brush the entire surface of the shells and circle lids with an egg yolk wash to create a nice deep golden color in the oven.
I made the ragout ahead of time and refrigerated until it was needed. I reheated the mixture gently on the stove before adding to the puff pastries. If it thickens too much, stir in a little broth or cream.
Pasteitje met Ragout Recipe
Pasteitje met Ragout (Dutch Puff Pastries with Chicken Mushroom Ragout)
Puff Pastry Shells:
- Water for brushing
- 1 egg yolk
- Flour for dusting
- 16 ounces (454 grams) puff pastry
Chicken Mushroom Gravy:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 12 ounces (350 grams) boneless chicken breasts chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup (237 milliliters) dry white wine
- 3 cups (710 milliliters) chicken broth
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Parsley for garnish
To make the Pasteitje (Puff Pastry Shells):
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease. Fill a small bowl with water. Add the egg yolk to another bowl with a small splash of water and beat lightly.
On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry into an even sheet. Sprinkle more flour as needed to keep the puff pastry from sticking.
Use a 4 inch circle cutter to cut out as many circles as possible from the puff pastry sheet. Use a smaller 3 inch cutter to cut out circles and create borders from inside half the 4 inch circles.
Arrange the uncut 4 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush the edges with water and top with the circle borders created from the 3 inch cutter, pressing down gently to seal. Prick the circle and border all over with a fork. Arrange the smaller circles on the prepared baking sheet and prick with a fork. These will be the lids.
Brush the circles with borders and lids with the egg wash. Bake in preheated oven until golden, 10-12 minutes.
To make the Ragout (Chicken Mushroom Gravy):
In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Mix in the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the sides are golden.
Pour in the white wine, scrapping any bits from the bottom of the pan, and add the chicken broth and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the bay leaves, thyme, mustard, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste Cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves.
In a small pan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a paste. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the simmered broth until incorporated. Repeat with about 2 more cups. Pour the mixture back into the pot with the chicken and stir to combine thoroughly.
Cook until just thickened. Season as needed with salt and pepper, then stir in the cream. Divide among the puff pastry shells and top with parsley. Serve the Pasteitje met Ragout immediately.