Introduction: Pelmeni (Russian Meat Dumplings)
A recipe for traditional Siberian pelmeni (meat dumplings).
Step 1: Ingredients
For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
5 cups plain (all purpose) flour
For the Filling:
600g beef mince
400g pork mince
(you can buy the mince ready-made but we think that mincing your own rump-steak makes for tastier pelmeni and if you don't have a meat grinder at home you can always order one from amazon)
2 large onions (finely chopped)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup cold water
2-3 bay leaves
2 tsps salt
Step 2: Make the Dough
Whisk together the water, milk, eggs and salt with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl.
Gradually add 3 1/2 cups of flour to the mix combining them together.
When it becomes hard to mix the dough in the bowl, place the rest of the flour on a clean counter and turn the dough out onto it.
Gently fold the dough on itself, flattening and folding again until the dough is firm enough to knead.
Knead the dough adding more flour until the dough is not sticking to your hands or the counter.
Continue kneading for about 10-15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough back to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 45–60 minutes to rest.
Step 3: Make the Filling
Very finely chop the onions.
Mix the beef, pork and onions in a bowl.
Add salt and pepper to the mince and mix well.
Add half a cup of very cold water to the mince and combine (this will make the dumplings juicier).
Step 4: Wrap the Dumplings
Take a tennis ball size lamp of dough (keep the rest of the dough covered with clinging wrap to prevent drying) and roll into a log about 1-1.5cm in diameter.
Cut the log in to 1cm long pieces. Dust them in flour.
Poll each piece into a thin circle with a rolling pin.
Place ½ tsp of filling into a middle of each dough circle and fold in half-circle shaped parcels pinching the ends firmly together, then connect the edges to finish.
Dust a baking tray with flour and place the pelmeni on to it in rows.
When the tray is full of pelmeni, then you can freeze the tray.
Step 5: Cook the Pelmeni
Boil a large pan of water, add salt and bay leaves.
When the water is boiling strongly add the pelmeni.
It is better to cook pelmeni in batches, so that the pan is not overcrowded.
Stir the pelmeni carefully so as not to break them.
Bring to boil (the pelmeni should float on the surface of the water) then reduce the heat and cook for 7 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon remove the pelmeni from the pan into a large plate.
Place a knob of butter on top of the pelmeni and sprinkle with black pepper.
Serve them the Siberian way with a dollop of sour cream.
PS - if you liked this recipe then check out our Russian pies (pirozhki) recipe.