Piroshki are easy to make and very child-friendly. I now make them with my eight-year-old son. Beef mince, potato and onion are a combo made in tastebud heaven, and this is how my Nanna always used to make them, even though there are many filling options around. Once cooked, you can reheat them for another meal, or pop them in a lunch box to eat at room temperature.
The piroshki are made in a similar way to varenyky but use self-raising flour instead of plain, and have another step to shape them at the end.
Piroshki (Russian mince, potato and onion pies)Course: All Recipes, Dinners, Light Meals, Lunch BoxDifficulty: Medium
Filling options, serving options
Piroshki are easy to make and very child-friendly. Beef mince, potato and onion are a combo made in tastebud heaven. Once cooked, you can reheat them for another meal, or pop them in a lunch box to eat at room temperature.
750g (about 5 medium) potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 tbs butter
1 tbs vegetable oil or sunflower oil, plus extra, to fry
2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
1 tbs chicken stock powder
750g beef mince
1 1/2 cups water
750g self-raising flour, plus extra, to dust
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil. Cook for 30 mins or until tender and a knife easily passes through. Drain well. Use a potato masher to mash.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins or until softened. Add the stock powder and mince. Cook, breaking up any clumps, for 8 mins or until meat is browned and cooked through. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add the mash to the meat mixture and use a fork to fold in and combine (try not to mush it too much). Set aside to cool completely.
- To make the dough, whisk the water and egg in a jug. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the salt and make a well in the centre. Add egg mixture to the well and stir until mixture comes together.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured benchtop. Use your hands to form a ball. Knead for several mins, until dough is smooth and silky. Halve the dough, then use hands to roll each portion into a 4cm-dia log. Use a knife to cut 1.5cm rounds from each log.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each dough round into a 10cm-dia circle (see note). Fill the centre of each dough circle with about 1 1/2 tbs of cooled mince mixture filling.
- One at a time, pick up the top and bottom edge of each dough circle until they meet. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch edges together from the centre out to the sides to completely seal the filling inside the dough (this is very important). Pick up the half circle in one hand and use your thumb and index finger on the other to scallop the sealed edge by turning over a little of the edge at 1cm intervals (see photo). Turn the filled parcel over so that the sealed side is on the floured surface (see tip) and gently press to flatten into a diamond-like shape (see photo). Set aside on a floured surface. Do not let them touch or they will stick together and break open.
- To cook the piroshki, pour enough oil into 2 large frying pans to cover the bottoms by about 1cm. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Working in batches of 4-5, cook piroshki on each side for 1 minute or until dough is cooked and golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Tips and notes
- You need a bit of room to make piroshki. I place a plastic tablecloth on the dining table and dust it with flour, then I make and prepare them all there.
- We always just ate the piroshki with a fork and knife and without any condiments or sides. But you can always serve them with a salad, tomato sauce, sauerkraut or sour cream.
- To save on time, you can make the filling the night before assembling the piroshki. Simply cool, cover the pan in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.
- As long as your filling is fairly dry (no wetter than mashed potato), you can mix and match your fillings to suit. Try 5 potatoes, 5 rashers of bacon and 1 onion, then cook like the above recipe, OR mix together 900g pressed cottage cheese, 1 egg and a pinch of salt.