PELMENI (SIBERIAN MEAT-FILLED DUMPLINGS)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork (you can omit pork and just use 1 lb. of beef)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a deep well in the center. Drop in the eggs and water and, with your hands or a large spoon, slowly but thoroughly mix the flour into the liquid ingredients until the mixture can be gathered into a compact ball.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it by folding it end to end, then pressing it down and pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand. Sprinkle the dough with extra flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking to the board.
Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Then shape it into a ball, wrap it loosely in wax paper, and let it rest at room temperature for at least an hour.
Melt the butter in oil in a skillet and add the onions. Saute, stirring frequently, over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are soft and light colored. Scrape the onions into a large bowl.
To the onions, add meat, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of water. Combine all the ingredients until smooth.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of approx. 1/16 of an inch. Cut out 2-1/2-inch circles or squares. Fill with the meat filling (about 3/4 tsp.)into the lower half of each. Seal the edges by running your finger, which has been dipped in water, around the edges, then fold the exposed dough over the filling. Press firmly around the edges, then lift up the two corners, pinching them together to form a little ear-shaped pouch or triangle.
It is best to freeze them before cooking, although they can be cooked fresh. They will keep frozen for about 3 months. Cook them frozen; no need to defrost.
Over high heat bring 3 qts. of salted water to a vigorous boil and drop about a dozen of the dumplings into the water, reduce heat to low, and cook them uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they rise to the surface of the water. Do not boil them vigorously, though. With a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a warm plate and drizzle with melted butter to keep them from sticking.
Serve with melted butter, sour cream, crushed marjoram, Russian mustard or pepper and vinegar