I believe my Yelp profile lists Пельмени as my last meal. There is nothing so comforting as dumplings, and since I have never found a store-bought or restaurant version that can top our family recipe, I now share it with you.
It's more of a technique than a recipe. The dough is a very quick and easy pasta dough, and the filling is just seasoned ground meat.
The devil is in the rolling, cutting, and filling. So get your friends together, get some beer, and make short work of the prep so you can get to the eating!
This recipe will make 60-70 pelmeni. If you think that's a lot, you've never seen a hoard of people devour 60-70 pels in a matter of hours. A decent serving is about 15 pels, so if you plan to feed a lot of people, and want to freeze some for later (YOU DO), double the following recipe.
1t oil (olive or canola - just enough to make the dough easier to work with)
1/4t kosher salt
2C unbleached all-purpose flour
Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, crack in the eggs, add the water, and using a fork, whisk the eggs, water and oil together, then start stirring in the flour until a craggy ball is formed. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, dust with a bit more flour, and knead until smooth. Try not to add too much flour. You want the dough to be smooth and a bit on the sticky side, because you'll add more flour as you roll it out, and you don't want it to get tough & chewy.
Wrap the dough in plastic, and let rest in the fridge for at least an hour. This will relax the gluten, and make rolling easier.
1/2# ground beef
1/2# ground pork
2-3T finely grated onion (use a microplane, or VERY finely mince the onion)
1 clove garlic, finely grated (use a microplane, or VERY finely mince the garlic)
1t kosher salt
2t freshly minced dill (or 1t dried)
Combine the meats in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the onion, garlic and dill. Add half the water and mix well (use your hands). If it looks like it can take it, add the rest of the water. Keep the meat in the fridge while you roll and cut the dough.
Rolling & Cutting
Line a couple baking sheets or cutting boards with parchment or dust with flour.
Take the dough out of the fridge. If you stick your finger in it, and the dent stays there, you're ready to roll!
Dust a large work surface with flour, and find a small biscuit cutter (about 2" wide). Roll the dough out til it's thinner than a poker chip, but thicker than a guitar pick.
Cut a zillion discs. Dip the cutter in flour to prevent sticking.
Follow the steps below to fill and seal the pels.
|Gently stretch out the disc.|
|Add a good amount of filling. You can stretch the dough to seal it in.|
|Pinch the seam closed, tucking the filling in as you go.|
|Sealed in half|
|Pinch the end together to form a little "cabbage" shape.|
Boil enough chicken broth (2-3 quarts) for the pels to have room to cook (as you would boil ravioli). I really like the Trader Joe's Low-Sodium Chicken Broth, and always keep a few quarts on hand. Once the pels float to the surface, allow them to cook a few minutes more (about 5-7 minutes total - a bit longer if frozen).
Serve the pels in bowls with some of the broth. I like to add a dollop of sour cream and some soy sauce. Mom likes sour cream and a little vinegar.
To freeze extra pels, freeze them on the sheet pan with room between them so they don't stick (see top photo). Once frozen, transfer to a ziploc freezer bag or seal in a food saver bag. Store up to 3 months.