24 December 2009
Here's a kind of sort of recipe and a how-to.
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lg onion, diced fairly small
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups cabbage, sliced into thin strips, then cross-cut into 1-in strips
1.5 lbs ground beef (or combination of beef, pork, veal or fresh pork sausage)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3-4 tbsp dried dill or to taste
Heat oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and cabbage. Cook until the cabbage begins to soften and cook down. According to my brother-in-law, you should let the cabbage scorch - it does add flavour, but I have a really hard time intentionally burning food, even for flavour, so I haven't done it.
Once the cabbage is mostly softened, add in your ground meat. I used about 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef, plus a half pound of spicy pork sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper, plus add in a lot of dried dill. I didn't measure what I used, but I'm sure it was pretty close to 4 tablespoons of dried dill. Oh, and I added a couple teaspoons of paprika; I'd forgotten about that. I'm not sure it added any noticable flavour, it was just a thought I had. Once the meat is cooked through, taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the mixture from the stove and set aside to cool.
Just a note: normally I used extra lean ground beef, but it's easy with this dish to get a really dry filling, so we used lean ground and didn't drain off any of the fat. To be honest, I didn't even notice any fat in the pan, but it was still very moist once it was cooked and the piroshky are noticably moister than some we've made in the past when we cooked the meat seperately from the cabbage and drained the excess fat.
A second note: We were left with probably 3 cups of excess filling. So probably I should list half the amount of everything or else double the amount of dough. Piroshky do freeze well. However, we froze the excess filling for a future batch of piroshky or else to make into a lazy cabbage roll casserole type dish - add tomato soup or tomato sauce (plus extra cabbage, since this is a meat heavy filling) and some cooked rice and bake it all up and yum. Deliciousness.
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose white flour
vegetable oil to brush over piroshky
Dissolve the yeast in the quarter cup of warm water, setting aside in a warm place until the yeast becomes frothy, about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the milk and gently whisk in the eggs, oil, sugar, and salt. I don't know why you are supposed to warm these ingredients, but Jen does it and it seems to work. DO NOT cook your eggs.
Place half the flour in a large mixing bowl and gradually stir in the milk mixture. Then add the yeast solution alternately with the remaining flour, stirring after each addition. Mix well. Knead until the dough forms a ball and does not stick to the bowl. (Note: Start with the 4 cups of flour. You may need to add more, a little at a time, as you knead the dough). Cover the bowl with a clean cloth. Set in a warm location and let rise until doubled in volume.
A small word of warning: try to keep from rolling the dough too thin as they will sometimes split while baking. You can tell you've got your dough stretched around too much filling if the meat is visible under the layer of dough. (See here for a reference. They don't always split - none of ours did today - but sometimes they will and it can be messy.)
In any case, I can't emphasize enough how delicious these things are. You really can fill them any way you please, most people seem to use meat/onion only, but others put in cheese or mushrooms or other vegetables. I think the only really standards are the dill and the ground meat. I think they're pretty amazing with cabbage. My mom makes them sometimes, but very small, about 2-in long only with about a tsp filling in them. She makes beef/cabbage and pork/sauerkraut ones. (I don't care for the sauerkraut.) I don't know that these are traditional to eat at holidays, but that seems to be the times when we make them at our house.