Monday, April 3, 2017

Pelmeni, or Russian Dumplings, or any dumpling really... My version, the live in the freezer so you're only ever 20 minutes away from dumpling happiness

This is my take on the most delicious of Russian food, Pelmeni.  There are probably a million and a half versions and recipes, this is mine.  I make it all the time, I keep bags and bags in the freezer so anytime you want a bowlful, you merely have to boil some water, boil these little darlings and eat them, in a bowl, with a gigantic blob of sour cream AND butter, we're all about the pleasure here, and some herbs if you're so inclined...and you just eat them.

TRACY'S PELMENI  (Russian dumplings)



3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk

Meat Filling

1 lb ground beef (you can also make these with pork or veal)
1 grated onion
salt, pepper, thyme,
(garlic if you want but it's not traditional)


Dump all the dough ingredients in a standing mixer, with a dough hook, and combine to a smooth dough.  You can also easily do this by hand.  Knead to a ball, leave to rest for a while.

Dump all the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  Leave to rest while the dough rests.

Go have a glass of wine or something.

Roll out the dough,, relatively thin and you have many options for filling... these are my top two methods.

1.  Roll dough thin on a floured surface and cut into 2 inch rounds.  Put a small ball of meat in each round, pull up the sides and pinch closed, put on floured tray and freeze.  Transfer to bags when frozen and grab handfuls when you want a meal. You do not NEED the mold below, just use a glass to cut the circles, the dough seals to itself beautifully.

2.  MY new absolute favorite method. Buy a pelmeni mold (yeah, I have one).
This is the one I have, no, I don't get anything if you click... I wish I did! but I don't

Roll the dough and place on well floured mold.  VERY well floured. Fill each space with a little tiny ball of filling.  Cover with another sheet of dough and use rolling pin to seal.  Flip upside down and shake the completed pelmeni out, put on floured tray and freeze. 

Here's the play by pictures:

Mix the meat and set it aside.  I didn't do pics of the dough, I will add play by plays of that next time.  It's an easy dough.  Mix till smooth :)

Dust your mold with flour and set aside.  Roll a piece of dough to a 10 inch circle and place it over the mold, gently settle it on the form. 
Put LITTLE ITTY BITTY balls of the meat mixture in each depression... I always start in the middle and work my way around. Roll out another piece of dough (dust the flour off) and put it over the little balls of meat, press down to seal.
Flour the top of the mold and roll, with a rolling pin to seal and separate!  isn't this COOL???  Roll firmly then remove the excess from the side, save that dough, you can reroll it!  Then give another roll to the mold to ensure they're sealed.

Look at these little nubble balls on the underside of the form.  Turn the form over and WHACK it on the side of a rolling pin or cutting board and they all fall out!!!  LOOK at these little babies!
This is how many I got from the 1 lb of meat. Seriously, talk about totally cheap and delicious food!!

So, this sheetpan has gone into the freezer, when they are frozen solid, I'll transfer them to a couple of ziploc bags and leave them in the freezer till I want to eat some.  Just boil in moderately boiling water, when the float, time it for about 7 mins, and there you go.

I have extra dough so I can make more tomorrow with whatever leftover meat I find in my fridge OR if I have leftover mashed potatoes I can mix with cheese and make mini pierogi.

I also love filling them with roasted and chopped vegetables and serve in broth? I've done chicken fillings both with asian flavors and straight up chicken.  Oh there's a million options here. I like to make potsticker filling with pork and asian flavors and the same thing, freeze and use as you will from frozen.

Go get this mold, and fill your freezers with dumplings!!!

I'll post the cooking pics later but I wanted to get this portion up for you now.  Go, make the dough!