What Are Pelmeni Dumplings?
Pelmeni (Пельмени) are Russian meat dumplings with a juicy meat filling, classic Russian comfort food. It’s found in every Russian’s freezer, and around the former Soviet States. It’s part of the group of Eastern European dumplings like Vareniki, Pierogies, Uszka, and even Manti. I consider this meal the national food of Russia. Every Russian has their own Pelmeni recipe.
Traditionally served with homemade sour cream and dill. I love eating them with Ketchup or sometimes even with a bit of soy sauce. Some people eat them with vinegar, others with mustard or horseradish. It can also be prepared in a broth, eaten in a soup. They taste great fried, especially if they are leftovers from last nights supper! They are often called Siberian Pelmeni, and are sometimes cooked in broth instead of water.
Where Can I Buy Pelmeni?
Easily found in supermarkets in Eastern Europe, an easy food for bachelors and students but homemade tastes so much better. Russian Stores in the west and European Delis sell frozen Pelmeni as well. As a child, I remember the whole family spending hours making Pelmeni, rolling, pinching and freezing these delicious Russian dumplings.
When you make Pelmeni Meat Dumplings, then you can control what goes into the meat filling, and the quality of meat. It seems that many Russians are so concerned about the quality of ground beef that goes inside these dumplings, that they buy beef and grind it at home themselves. Maybe it’s just tradition when they could’t find ground beef in stores? Either way, I don’t have time for that, it takes enough of my day to make this Pelmeni recipe, I always buy quality ground beef from the supermarket or butcher.
This Pelmeni recipe uses only ground beef, but many people love a beef and pork mix. We never ate pork growing up, and this recipe is close to how my mom made it. Adding water into the meat mix, ensures the Pelmenchiki (little pelmeni) are juicy when you bite into it.
Some dough in Pelmeni recipe don’t use any eggs at all. You could use 1 large egg instead of 2 small eggs, it’s really up to you. It’s hard to screw up this dough recipe as there are many variations. Make the dough first, and while it’s resting, prepare the meat mixture.
How Many Pelmeni per Person?
I figure about 10 dumplings per person is a good amount, but honesty, I’ve had more! They’re so good I can’t stop eating them. If there are any leftover, just remember to fry them up the next day!
A classic Russian comfort food, my favorite Russian dumplings Pelmeni recipe enjoyed in any Russian household. Pelmeni: From Russia with Love. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Pelmeni Recipe Russian Dumplings (Пельмени)
Winter is the perfect time to make Pelmeni (Пельмени). A boiled Russian dumpling made with a juicy meat filling, traditional comfort food. Pelmeni are found in every Russian's freezer, and popular in former Soviet States. Similar to Vareniki, Pierogies, Uszka, and Manti. From Russia with love. Pelmeni Recipe
Pelmeni Dough ingredients
- 4 cups of plain flour plus ¼ cup extra flour for kneading
- 2 small eggs
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt dissolve in the water
Pelmeni Filling ingredients
- 1 kg of lean ground beef or 50/50 beef and pork
- 2 medium onions grated
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup water
- 2 bay leaves in the cooking water
Mix the flour and salt, place into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
Crack the eggs into the flour. Using a fork, stir the eggs into the flour.
Slowly add the water while kneading, until the dough forms a sticky ball.
Continue to knead the dough on a floured surface until dough is soft but not sticky. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a bowl and allow to rest for about an hour.
In a separate bowl, using your hands, mix the ground beef, onion, oil, water, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
Roll out the dough about ⅛" thin on a lightly floured surface. I use a Kitchenaid Pasta Roller, usually on the 2nd thickness setting. Some people like it thinner, but I don't want the dough to tear. Using a 3" cookie cutter, cut out circles. Remix, roll out and reuse the extra dough to make more circles. Cover the dough that you aren't using so it doesn't dry out. Don't flour the surface (or very minimal), or the pelmeni won't seal properly. Keep the remaining dough under the upside down bowl to keep from drying out.
Place about 1 teaspoon of beef filling in the centre of the circe. Carefully fold in half and pinch to seal the pelmeni shut. Careful not to have the filling touching the edges, or it won't seal and fall apart when cooking.
Place the pelmeni on an uncovered tray and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Place the individually frozen pelmeni into a Ziplock bag for an easy dinner later.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with the bay leaves.
Drop 25-30 pelmeni into the boiling water. Gently stir, to prevent the Pelmeni from sticking together.
Simmer until the meat and dough is cooked approx 6-8 minutes. When you lift them out of the water and the cooked pelmeni 'wrinkles' or 'shrivels' then you know it's done. It will take a bit longer when using frozen pelmeni.
Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with sour cream and dill.