Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cool weather recipe

I have been posting Meatless Monday recipes for the last couple of weeks.  But with cool weather approaching, I thought I would change the pace.  This recipe is pretty easy to prepare.  I like it because, I can make I can make it and freeze part of it for a quick week night meal.  Since it is a little time consuming, the weekend is the perfect time to make this recipe.  There are 3 parts to the recipe:  a dough, a meat filling and a broth.
The dumpling recipe came from the following website:  There is also information on the website for a vegetarian version called:  vareniki.  The website includes some nice step by step pictures on forming the dumplings.
According to the website, these dumplings would normally be accompanied by either satsebeli (a Georgian spicy tomato sauce) or sour cream.  I saw them served with brown butter.  But for my taste, serving the dumplings in a broth is the way to go.  Here is a picture of my rendition. The recipe follows.
Here is the dumpling recipe.  I will follow the recipe with my serving suggestion and notes.

Pelmeni Siberian Dumplings
Ingredients (makes about 100 pelmeni):
For the dough
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 70 grams of butter (2.5 ounces or 5 Tablespoons)
  • 1 cup ice water
  • pinch of salt
For the filling
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • (traditionally) 1 small onion, pureed in food processor
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine flour and 1 egg
  • Add butter (cutting it into little pieces will help with incorporating it into the mixture)
  • Add a pinch of salt
  • Now add the water, hold some of it.
  • With the hook attachment, let your Kitchen Aid do the mixing for you; add the rest of the water if needed (you’ll see if your dough is too dry and there is still flour that won’t incorporate).
  • Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will help the gluten to develop (i.e. your dough will be smoother with less air pockets if you cut into it).
  • While the dough is resting, prepare your meat filling. Combine your 2 kinds of meat (and pureed onions, if using) with your hands (<– the easiest “tool”). Add salt and pepper to taste – we added about 1T. Voila, your filling is done!
  • Time to make the dumplings! Flour your surface, and cut the dough into about 8 pieces. You'll need to work with 1 ball at a time, covering the rest so they won’t dry out.
  • Roll the dough out – work from the middle out. This dough is pretty dry and flexible and quite easy to work with. Roll each dough ball as thinly as possible.
  • Cut 4″ circles out of the dough – you can use a fancy cookie cutter or a glass with sharp edges.
  • To make the traditional Siberian shape, pinch the 2 sides together all around, and connect the 2 bottom corners together
  • After you’ve used up all your dough and filling – and are ready to eat – boil yourself a serving! Boil water, then add some pelmeni and boil for 7 minutes – do not overcrowd the pot! Once the first servings is done, let the water come to boil again and then start your 7-minute timer for the next batch.
  • Enjoy a nice big bowl of pelmeni with your choice of sauce! [The Georgian satsebeli (spicy tomato) sauce is delicious (can be found in Russian stores); I also like it with just tomato paste. Sour cream is probably the most popular accompaniment and adds a nice creaminess to these meaty beauties :) ]
*If you’re not eating the whole batch, these freeze great! Just freeze them flat on a cookie sheet or a plate overnight and transfer to a freezer bag the next day. They cook in 8 minutes from frozen – perfect for a busy night (and you’ll know you’ll still be eating real food you made yourself!).*
For more step by step photos and details, check out

The recipe works quite well.  I did use the optional onion.  You can also add a little garlic, as I did.  Be sure to cook a small sample of the filling by forming a patty and sauteing it.  This allows you to test it for seasoning.  I do not have a cutter so a sharp glass was my choice for cutting the dough.
I served mine dumplings in a hot broth with diced carrot and celery.  I combined approximately equal parts of chicken and beef stock in a pan and added the diced vegetables as I brought it to a boil.  Salt and pepper seasoned the broth.  When I topped the hot cooked dumplings with the broth I added a sprinkle of sliced green onion.

I hope you will try this recipe.  It is hearty but light at the same time and quite satisfying.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y"all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

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