This recipe for Russian meat dumplings, known as pelmeni or peljmeni, is traditionally filled with ground beef, pork, and sometimes lamb, and served with red-wine vinegar, black pepper, and melted butter. Mushroom, sauerkraut and vegetable fillings exist in other regions of Russia.
The word pelmeni describes the ear-shaped appearance of these dumplings, similar to Polish uszka, or "little ears," a smaller version of Polish pierogi.
To make the job go faster, the dough and filling can be made ahead and the dumplings can be assembled and cooked the next day.
- For the Dough:
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup water (tepid)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/4 cups flour (all-purpose, plus more for dusting)
- For the Filling:
- 1 large onion (finely grated)
- 8 ounces pork (lean, ground)
- 8 ounces ground beef (chuck)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Make the Dough
- In a food processor, combine eggs, water, oil, salt and half the flour. Add the remaining flour and process until a smooth dough forms.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough can be refrigerated at this point until ready to roll.
Make the Filling
- In a medium bowl, combine onion, ground pork, ground beef, salt, and pepper until thoroughly mixed.
- Refrigerate, covered until ready to use.
Form the Pelmeni
- Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Keep the rest covered while you roll one piece of dough into a finger-width cylinder. Cut this into 10 pieces. Roll each of the 10 pieces into a 2-inch circle.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of filling on the circle almost to the edges. Pick up the circle and fold to create a half-moon, and pinch the edges together, making sure there is no trapped air which could cause them to explode when cooking. Place formed pelmeni on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cook the Pelmeni
- Place a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. When you have made 10 pelmeni, drop them into the boiling water. When they rise to the surface, boil an additional 1 to 2 minutes (test a dumpling for doneness). Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Serve boiled dumplings with melted butter, red-wine vinegar, black pepper, and sour cream, if desired. After boiling, pelmeni also can be sautéed in butter until lightly brown.
- Alternatively, pelmeni can be rolled out and filled as for pierogi and frozen for later cooking as outlined in these how to make pierogi steps.
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