Russian Dumpling (Pelmeni)

Flora S.
Traditional Russian Food

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 18 ounces ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine egg, vegetable oil, and salt in a measuring cup; add enough water to fill to 1 cup. Pour into a bowl, add 3 cups flour, and knead into a smooth, elastic dough.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Dust a baking sheet lightly with 1 tablespoon flour.
  • Combine ground beef, onion, water, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix filling thoroughly by hand or using a fork.
  • Roll out a portion of the dough very thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds with a cookie cutter or a wine glass.
  • Keep the rest of the dough covered with a towel to avoid drying out.
  • Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of filling on one side of the dough circle. Fold dough over and seal the edges using fingers, forming a crescent.
  • Join the ends and pinch them together. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Freeze pelmeni for 30 minutes to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and drop small batches of frozen pelmeni into simmering water.
  • Cook and stir until the meat is cooked and pelmeni float to the top, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to serving plates using a slotted spoon.

Notes

Instead of ground beef, you can also use a mixture of half ground pork and half ground beef. Sometimes we use ground turkey for the filling. If you're not a fan of raw onion, saute onion in butter first for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
The meat filling can also be made by processing filling ingredients through a meat grinder but do not use a blender or food processor unless you have a special setting for meat.
Pelmeni can also be fried in a skillet. Melt butter or bacon grease in a skillet and saute frozen pelmeni until they are soft and the meat is cooked through, just like pierogi. Pelmeni is usually served with sour cream or vinegar.

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