Siberian Pelmeni

Stanislava Dimitrova
How it's made: 

Pelmeni are the Russian equivalent of the Italian ravioli and the Chinese dumplings. Actually, almost every cuisine has it's version of dough balls stuffed with sweet or savory filling. The word pelmeni literary means "ear bread." Back in the days, peasant women in Siberia used to make hundreds of pelmeni, stuff them into canvas bags, and hang them outside to freeze. Strangers and guests were welcomed with a hot bowl of pelmeni to warm up and regain strength.

To prepare the filling, chop the onions and sauté them in olive oil. Chop the beef into fine pieces. (about 1/4 of an inch) You may also use ground beef. Add the beef to the onions, season with salt and pepper, and add the thyme leaves. Cook for a few more minutes.

To prepare the Pelmeni dough, mix the flour, salt, eggs and milk. Knead the dough until it is soft and non sticky. On a floured surface, roll small portions of the dough with a rolling pin until it becomes very thin. (1/8 of an inch) Cut out circles and pack them with the filling. Fold them and press the edges to shape them in the desired form.

Once the pelmeni are stuffed with the beef, cook them in boiling water with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of olive oil. When the pelmeni are cooked, they will float atop of the boiling water. Serve them warm with sour cream.

You can also fry pelmeny and serve them as finger food with sour cream dip. Either way, they are delicious.

Shopping list: 
300-400 beef or ground beef
2 medium onions
salt and pepper
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon of salt
sour cream
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
fresh thyme
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