Celeriac and veal pelmeni in chicken broth
- October 2015
- Serves 8 as a starter, 4 as a main course
- Hands-on time 1 hour 10 min, plus resting
Russia’s answer to tortellini are these little dumpling-like parcels, packed with hearty flavour. This recipe uses a winning combination of veal, celeriac and chives.
- 27g (13.2g saturated)
- 68.2g (5.9g sugars)
For the dough
- 320g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling
- 250g celeriac
- 1 lemon
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 150g British rose veal mince or free-range pork mince
- 120ml soured cream
- ½ bunch fresh chives
For the broth
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 100g smoked pancetta
- 1.5 litres fresh chicken stock
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Bunch each fresh dill and chives, coarsely chopped
- 150g spinach
- Soured cream or greek yogurt to serve
- For the dough, combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and 4 tbsp cold water, then slowly whisk. Bring the dough together with your hands – it will be quite firm.
- Turn out the dough and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, knead on a medium speed in a stand mixer with a dough hook fitted for 5 minutes.) Wrap in cling film and chill for 1-2 hours.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling. Peel and roughly chop the celeriac, putting it in a large pan of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice to stop it discolouring. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes until very tender. Drain and return to the pan.
- Heat a glug of oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, without colouring, until soft. Add the mince, season with salt and pepper, then gently fry for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown but not cooked through. Put the mince mixture, celeriac, soured cream, chives and some seasoning in a food processor, then whizz to a smooth purée. Cool.
- Once the dough has chilled, divide it in two. Keep half covered with a damp cloth and roll out the rest to about 2mm thick. Using a 5cm cookie cutter, stamp out as many circles as you can (about 20), then roll these to half the thickness. Spoon 1 tsp purée into the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of dough with a little water, then fold over into a semi-circle, squeezing out any air. For each one, bring the 2 ends together to meet in the centre, then pinch together, forming a tortellini shape. Put on a tray, cover with a tea towel and chill. Repeat with the other half of pastry dough, re-rolling any scraps until it’s all used up.
- For the broth, heat a little oil in a small pan and fry the pancetta for 8-10 minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock until boiling in a large deep saucepan along with the bay leaves, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tsp salt.
- Add half the herbs and half the dumplings to the broth. Boil for 3-4 minutes until the pelmeni rise to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pelmeni, then return them all to the broth, along with the spinach. Simmer gently for 1 minute, then serve the dumplings in bowls with a little broth, the crispy pancetta, soured cream and remaining fresh herbs.
We’ve added celeriac to the pelmeni, but you can fill them with whatever you fancy.
Make the dough up to 48 hours in advance and keep wrapped in cling film in the fridge. It freezes well too, in a sealed container for up to 1 month.
Pelmeni are Russia’s answer to tortellini – small dumplings usually filled with pork and veal. The dough is easier to make than pasta as there’s no repeat rolling.
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