22 Dec Handmade Russian meat Dumplings – Pelmeni
Beautiful plump and juicy Russian Meat Dumplings – Pelmeni, are one of the most beloved dishes for our family’s New Year’s dinner. My grandma started this tradition years ago. And since then, it was her duty to organize a seamless pelmeni manufacturing process a few days before December 31st. We would get together in her house, watch some old movie, and mix, roll, and fold more pelmeni that we could possibly eat. Usually, I was the one most enthusiastic about shaping a few hundreds of ear-shaped, meat-filled, small dumplings. And I still feel the same way!
There are dozens of different pelmeni dough variations out in the world. For this recipe, I chose the most simple and reliable one – all-purpose flour, boiling water, salt, and oil. These basic ingredients work wonders! Boiling water makes the dough pliable and easy to knead, and the oil adds softness and elasticity.
What to Serve With Russian Dumplings?
My answer is simple – sour cream, melted butter, and hot ajika sauce. For the most delicious meat dumplings, you want to create a balance of something creamy, tangy, and acidic. Remember the formula salt, fat, acid, heat? Time to use it! And since we already have savory dumplings time to dress them with butter and top with a dollop of sour cream and a few spoons of spicy, acidic sauce. Red ajika is a fantastic option, but you can also try something different. Cilantro chutney, harissa, or sambal can also be delicious alternatives!
Russian Meat Dumplings – Pelmeni
For the basic dumpling dough
- 275 g or about 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- ¾ cups hot boiling water
- 2 Tbsp butter for serving
For the meat filling
- 1/2 pound ground meat beef pork, chicken, lamb (I usually use 50/50 mix of ground pork and ground beef)
- 1 medium yellow onion finely grated or pureed in a food processor
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add oil and start slowly pouring the hot water. The mixture will be very hot so start mixing it with a spatula or a large wooden spoon.
- When the dough starts coming together and becomes warm enough to handle, transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a few minutes, until almost completely smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough for up to 6 hours before making the dumplings. Make sure the dough is room temperature before starting to roll it.
- Menwhile, combine all the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl. Mix well with a spoon.
- Lightly flour the work surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll into a large 1/8-inch thick circle. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, or a shot glass, cut circles of dough.
- To assemble the dumplings, place a teaspoon of the meat filling right in the center of your wrapper and fold the edges into a desirable shape.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough and scraps. Keep the dumpling wrappers covered with a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Once you shape the dumplings, cook them in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are plump and the meat inside is fully cooked.
- Fish the pelmeni out of the pot and place them into a bowl. Immediately drizzle them with melted butter and mix well to cover each dumpling with a thin layer of butter. Serve right away!