Named for the ancient Finno-Ugric word meaning “ear bread” after their shape, pelmeni are a comforting staple of Russian cuisine. As the months grow cooler, these savoury dumplings make for a delicious warming meal or snack. Easy to make and fun for little hands to pinch closed, this traditional recipe lends itself particularly well to cooking as a family.
(serves 6 as a hot starter or 3 as a main)
For the dough:
5 large eggs
580g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
For the filling:
1kg minced meat (50% pork, 50% beef)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sieve the flour into a bowl, gradually beat in the eggs, salt and add water little by little to form a smooth dough. Mix and knead well for several minutes. Leave the dough to cool in the fridge for an hour.
Finely chop the onion and mix it into a bowl together with the mince and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out until it’s about 2mm thick. Using the rim of a glass with a diameter of about 6-7cm, cut out discs from the dough until you’ve used it all up.
Add a teaspoon of mince to each disc. Fold the dough over and firmly pinch the edges together, sealing the dumpling in a half-moon shape. Place the dumplings on a plastic tray, leaving the space between them, and freeze for at least 24 hours.
Bring water to boil and add a pinch of salt. Cook the pelmeni for 10 minutes and remove from the water. Melt some butter in a pan and sauté the dumplings for 30 seconds. Serve with sour cream and dill.
To try pelmeni in situ, book your stay at Hotel Astoria by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call +7 812 494 5770.