You know how many bloggers start their posts with something along the lines of “…if you’ve been following my blog or Instagram recently you should know…”, and then they link to their Instagram account? Well, it’s my turn today! So, if you have been, you’ll already know that this winter, one of my biggest food cravings has been for dumplings.
From time to time, I make Russian dumplings called “pelmeni” at home, and when I do, I always make sure to prepare extra and freeze them for the future. The other day I decided I had to have pelmeni for dinner, so I made 97 pieces! Ben doesn’t know yet that we have two more bags in the freezer, it’s a delicious secret. Or, it was a secret. It won’t be a secret once he reads this!
Commercial pelmeni often come with only one kind of meat, but I like to combine 2 or 3 kinds of ground meat, like: beef, pork and veal.
I prefer making pelmeni by hand, but there are also some time-saving gadgets. My mama gave me one of these (here’s a sturdier metal version), and I use it from time to time when I want to have rounder and smaller dumplings. All I need in that case is roll out two thin sheets of dough, place one on the press, add meat on top and press the second layer onto it.
Russian meat dumplings: "pelmeni"
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 cup icy cold water
- pepper, paprika, garlic, salt for meat
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 cups flour
- 1.5 lb. ground meat (pork+beef+veal)
1. Sift 2 cups of flour onto the table, make a well, add salt and oil, then slowly add icy water with one hand and mix it in with the other. When the dough is consistent and soft, leave it to rest under a towel for 30 minutes.
2. Add 1 more cup of flour and knead again for 10 minutes, then leave under a towel for 30 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands. Keep it under a towel for 30 more minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix meat with onion, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic.
5. Take small pieces of dough and roll them into thin sheets and cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or a cup. Fill each with 1 tsp. of meat mix and pinch the edges together tightly.
6. Boil a large pot of water, salt it, drop in pelmeni and stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Cook for 8-10 minutes after the second boiling. Add a few bay leaves before turning the heat off.
7. Use a strainer spoon to remove the cooked pelmeni from the pot without too much broth. Serve hot with sour cream.
Here are some dumpling makers to speed up the process if you’re hungry: