RUSSIAN MEAT DUMPLINGS (pelmeni)
An authentic Russian recipe for delicious homemade pelmeni. Russian dumplings are filled with juicy beef, onions, garlic and fresh herbs. They are boiled in water, tossed in butter and served with sour cream or vinegar. I guess it’s the combination of the homemade dough and tasty beef filling that turns pelmeni into a dish that no one can resist!
The dumplings are, just like borscht and crab stick salad, a traditional Russian food. Back in the old days, the whole family would gather to make pelmeni. They made kilograms of Russian dumplings and then froze them in bags outside, near their door. I imagine that it was more or less of a social gathering, after banya (Russian sauna), just talking and preparing delicious food that would help them get through the long and cold Russian winter.
If this is going to be your first time making homemade pelmeni, it could be a bit time-consuming. The best thing to do is double or triple the recipe and stuff the freezer with Russian dumplings. Because once you freeze them, it will take you only 10 minutes to boil and put a delicious and quick(!) meal on the table. Great for those busy evenings or unexpected guests.
Just make sure that after you fold your pelmeni, you arrange them on a lightly floured cutting board and put them in freezer. After 30-40 minutes, when pelmeni are semi-frozen, transfer them into a large ziploc bag and freeze up to 4 -5 months.
- 420 gr all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 240 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 20 gr fresh parsley, chopped
- 350 gr minced beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 bay leaf
- Sieve flour into a big bowl, add salt and mix.
- Make a well in the center, crack an egg into the center and use a fork to stir the egg into the flour.
- Then, slowly add water while kneading and knead until the dough forms a sticky ball.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is soft, about 5 minutes. The dough should not be sticky by now. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Now, add oil to a pan and cook onion and garlic until translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Then add garlic, onion, fresh parsley and meat to a bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- After 1 hour, turn to the dough. Knead it for about 1 min on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 3 mm thick*.
- Cut out 7 cm diameter circles, you can use a drinking glass for this or a cookie cutter. Roll out and reuse the extra dough to make more circles. Make sure to cover the dough that you are not using with a damp cloth, so that it doesn't dry out.
- Put 1 tsp of meat mix in the center of each circle, fold the dumplings in half and pinch to seal the pelmeni shut.
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil with 3 bay leaves.
- Drop about 15 pelmeni into the boiling water, and stir to prevent pelmeni from sticking.
- Boil until the meat and dough is cooked through for about 10 minutes (pelmeni should be floating). Remove from water and serve with sour cream or vinegar.
*Flour the surface very minimal, or pelmeni won't seal properly.
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