Russian Beef Pastries: How to Make Basic Pirozhki

Pirozhkis are filled savory or sweet pastries, and can be made with a yeast bread or pie crust-like dough.
Pirozhkis are filled savory or sweet pastries, and can be made with a yeast bread or pie crust-like dough. | Source

Russian Pirozhki

Pirozhki, sometimes spelled piroshki, are filled baked or fried Russian dumplings.These pastries can be made from an out wrapping of yeast dough or a pie crust-like dough. The recipe below uses a pie crust to wrap the individual pastries.

Serve as an appetizer, or even the main course, when filled with meats and vegetables. When filled with sweetened or stewed fruits, they are generally served as a snack or dessert.

Recipe for Ground Beef, Egg & Dill Pirozhki

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted chilled butter, cut into pats
  • 8 tablespoons shortening
  • Up to 3/4 cup ice cold water

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups finely diced onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, lean
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Melted butter for brushing

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Make the pastry by cutting the flour, butter and shortening together with a pastry cutter until combined, and look like course meal. Add in about 1/2 cup of the ice cold water and begin to form into a ball. If the mixture is too dry, add in enough water to make a smooth dough, adding a tablespoon at a time to the dough. Chill at least an hour.
  3. After chilling, roll out onto a lightly floured work surface until you get a rectangle that's about 20 inches in length and about 6 inches wide. Fold it into thirds, then turn the dough a quarter turn, and repeat this process two more times, each time turning it a quarter turn before rolling into the long rectangle. Wrap it up again and chill for another hour, while the filling is cooking.
  4. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan, and add in the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Do not brown the onions, if they start to brown reduce the heat. Add in the lean ground beef, and continually break apart the meat as it cooks to break up any large chunks of ground beef. Cook until the beef has been cooked all the way through.
  5. Place the meat mixture into a large mixing bowl, and if there are any large chunks of ground beef, remove and chop up with a knife, and add back to the bowl. Add in the chopped eggs and chopped fresh dill. Add in the dry mustard and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Roll out the reserved pirozhki dough thinly, then cut into 3 inch circles using a pastry cutter or a drinking glass. Add in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Bring one end over the center, and fold the other end so that it overlaps the first. Press the seam to seal, and place the pirozhki seam side down on a sheet pan.
  7. Lightly brush with melted butter, and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Serve while still hot.


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