Pirozhki, anyone?

plllog

My mother used to make pirozhki (pier-oo-SHKEY). Pirozhki are sort of a Russian pasty, but fried. Or not. I've never had the not, but I'm thinking maybe oven fried? Coated with oil and baked on convection?


So, then there's filling. You can put anything in, really, including fruit/sweet, but traditionally, it's most basic Northern things. Beef with onion and chopped egg is classic. I'm trying to decide how far to wander off, like with some mushrooms. Or I could caramelize the onions. Oooh, and maybe some mustard seeds. I think that would please modern palates without wandering off too far.


What do you think?

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Comments (22)
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Lars

I've always baked them, and I put meat, potatoes, and onion in them. For something fried, I make empanadas


instead (I may have baked these), which do not require a yeast dough, or I make quesadillas with fresh masa that I fill with mushrooms and cheese and deep fry.

Huitlacoche quesadilla in Mexico City.

I also make panzarotti, which is also fried with a yeast dough.

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plllog

Cool! Yeah, pies are a worldwide thing. My grandmother's native one was pirozhki, and that's what my mother made. I thought she'd like it if I made some. :)

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colleenoz

You can send me some any time :-D

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Are they similar to pierogies?

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plllog

Etymologically, yes, culinarily, no. The root means pie, and pirozhki are basically "hand pies", like the pasties, empanadas, etc., such as the ones Lars mentioned together. Pierogi are more like stuffed dumplings or ravioli. Variations on a theme, to be sure, but where they have both, there are way different words.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Interesting! Would you care to share the recipe for the basic recipe?

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plllog

I don't have an actual recipe. It's just a basic yeast dough, and any kind of filling that you like. Classic Russian tastes are beef, onion, cabbage hard, boiled eggs, farm cheese, fruit or preserves. There are slightly different traditional fillings in Ukraine. There's not usually a sauce, and the interior can be a little dry, with the moisture coming from fat or vegetables. Salt, but not usually a lot of seasoning. Usually fried but can be baked. That's traditionally. It's poor man's street food from a Northern climate often covered with snow.

They're usually a bit bigger than empanadas, though can be made cocktail or soup size, and have more filling compared to dough than a lot of this kind of thing do. Perhaps wheat was relatively more expensive there.

One can put one's own modern spin on it and still call it pirozhki. Which is fun to say. :) I wouldn't go so far as bbq pulled pork and kimchi and still call it pirozhki rather than just hand pies, but you could. I do intend to use spices. :)

...Okay. I've looked around the 'net a bit. Cabbage filling wasn't my mother's thing, but this blog has good general instructions.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/how-to-make-russian-piroshki-just-like-grandma/

I like the name since that's what I'm trying to do. :) It also reads like something interesting to try. The meat filling of my youth wasn't particularly wonderful--just right--Northeastern European cooking isn't really wonderful altogether, and is loved more for "just like Grandma". Everybody loves Mexican street food--Russian hasn't caught on so much. :) Most of the meat filling recipes I saw just now for pirozhki now have way too many seasoning ingredients and are obviously modern interpretations, rather than really traditional. I'll be doing that too. :)

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Thank you! Adding these to my "going to make" list!

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Islay Corbel

The polish variety from my family were very potatoey!

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

There is a Russian restaurant in the area that makes these and sells them from a colorful caravan/food truck at street fairs and arts festivals throughout the area. They are deep fried and delicious!! They may make other fillings but I stick with the beef and cheese.

I have never tried to make my own as I avoid deep frying. Too messy! But I have made Jamaican patties, which are similar in concept if not execution. And they are baked :-)

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I'm wondering that instead of onion how it would taste if I coarsely shred a turnip into the cabbage mix?

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Lars

Here's how I have made Пирожки с говядиной in the past:

Note that the meat is seasoned with pepper, coriander, and whatever other spices you wish to add, but for me, coriander is the important spice to use to give it the flavor that I am used to.

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plllog

Edie, turnips are even traditional. I'd pre-cook them, however. Cabbage cooks pretty quickly, as do onions. Turnips can take forever to soften.

Lars, those buns look interesting. Very different from the pirozhki in my family heritage. I'm thinking I'd better fry them rather than trying an oven fry. I certainly don't want them to be glazed buns! They look like good buns, but so not what I'm trying to replicate. :).

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Thank you for the turnip precook tip. I am hoping to make these next week after this weekend's babysitting marathon (last night, today, tomorrow, Monday & Tuesday. Whew!)

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

plllog, the dough is going to make way more than I need for dinner tonight. Is the dough freezable? If so, should I freeze it unrisen or let it rise then freeze it?

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plllog

Edie, as I said, I haven't made the recipe I linked. That was meant as an example showing the steps. It's yeast dough, however, and you can freeze it unrisen. If it's already started rising, just punch it down, roll the ball around a little (not a lot), and wrap it in plastic or a bag. Remove as much air as you can. Standard dough freezing. :) Remove from plastic to thaw in a covered bowl or container with a little room for expansion, in the fridge. It won't really hurt it to thaw on the counter in a bowl big enough to rise in, but the outside might start rising before the middle is thawed, which could make it harder to work with. Let it come completely to room temperature before you handle it again. Let rise, patiently, then work it as usual.

If I feel more with it today, I'd like to make some today. Meat. I thought I'd serve with Molly Stevens's World's Best braised cabbage. A little Winter in N. Europe, a little modern. :)

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I'm going to make mine with roast beef I got from the deli counter added to the cabbage/carrots after they are braised. It's sliced very thin so will be very tender. I will serve them alongside beef/vegetable soup I made the other night.

So I will freeze part of the dough for future use. Thanks!

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lindac92

Every cooking tradition has a meat and or vegetable pie....from the South american Empanadas to the German Bierocks and Runzas, to Italian Calzone...to Cornish pasties and and Salvadorian pupupsas.

All good! I have eaten a pasti with grated raw rutabega and it cooked just fine.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7


They are kinda funny-looking but taste really good if I do say so myself. I did add some cubed Fontal cheese to them too. So cabbage & carrots braised with lots of herbs, beef & cheese. Will make these again and again!

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plllog

Ah, c'mon, they're food! They look appetizing and that means they look good enough to eat! Nothing wrong with that. :) I can see the ghosts of the telltale pinch along the top, though they rose around them. that makes them "right". for that classic football shape and more defined pinches, you need a stiffer dough, but unless you're on a mission, I'd stick with the one you want to make again and again. Congrats on your great success! I took a nap... :)

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I hope you are feeling better!

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plllog

Yes thanks. Naps are good. :)

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