Siberian Dumplings

"Sibirskie Pel’meni" are the Siberian version of boiled dumplings, particularly fit for the harsh Siberian winters.

Pel’meni are served steaming hot, smothered with butter and sour cream or with hot mustard and vinegar.

As a Russian saying goes, “Pel’meni are never enough”, so go on and cook more than one batch when the wind is blowing strong out there!

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
¼ cup lukewarm water

11/2 pounds mixed ground meat, beef and pork
1 medium onion
1 tsp salt
Ground pepper to taste
12 tbl (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
Hot mustard
Strong wine vinegar
Sour cream
Yields 8-10 dozen

To make the dough, mix the flour and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and water.

Mix into the flour and then knead by hand until the dough holds together. Form a ball and place it on a sheet of waxed paper or on a floured surface.
Cover the dough with an overturned bowl and let stand for 1 hour.
To make the filling, blend the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper in a food processor until it becomes smooth. Let stand until dough is ready.

Place a kettle of salted water to boil, while you prepare to fill the dumplings.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out onto a floured surface as thinly as possible (quarter inch) and cut 2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter or floured glass. Place a heaping teaspoon of the meat filling on each round. Bring one edge of the round over to meet the other and seal the edges tightly, forming a half-moon. Then take the two pointed edges and bring them together in the centre of the half-moon, along its straight edge. Lift these e4dges slightly, to form a round ball. Make sure that the edges are securely pressed together in the centre. As each ball is formed, place it on a clean dish towel, so they won’t dry out.

When the water boils, drop in the pel’meni in batched (make sure not to crowd them in the kettle) and boil them gently for 5 minutes, or until they rise to the top of the water.

Drain the dumplings and immediately pour the melted butter over them. Place them in a high mound on a serving platter and let each person choose their own garnish: mustard mixed with vinegar, sour cream or more butter.

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