A plate of pelmeni might not look like much to the untrained eye, but it forms the heart of Russian cuisine and culture. It's served in every Russian restaurant, cooked in homes across all of the country and every family likes to think it has its own special recipe.
So what is pelmeni? Basically, it's a Russian dumpling consisting of a filling that is wrapped in thin dough. The fillings differ but essentially they are minced beef, pork or lamb, often in combinations, and seasoned with herbs, onion, and black pepper. Chicken pelmeni are also available. So what makes pelmeni unique? You'll simply have to experience them yourself to find out.
Ingredients: Beef, pork, flour, egg, water, onion, garlic, salt, pepper.
Wanting to "do this right" I decided I would try these the traditional way... Ummm... never again. Mind you, it's quite likely the problem was with my preparation more than the product... as I suspect I may have boiled them a little longer than 'ideal', allowing them to become overly soggy and a little too "sticky" from the boiled gluten.
Following the instructions, I got a large pot and put in the water, a little salt, and as a nod to Italian pasta prep, a small blob of oil to help coat the pasta and prevent it sticking together. Bring the water to the boil, throw in the frozen Pelmeni, and away they go while I prepared the side dishes. An assortment of mixed veges - carrots, corn, peas, beans and sliced onion, lightly sweated and dowsed in garlic butter.
Plating the Pelmeni up... I was feeling a little uneasy. They were pasty white, soggy, falling apart and just looked... well, as one diner put it - Slimy. On the flip-side, they actually tasted pretty nice, if you ignored the feeling of the pasta long enough to crew them. They reminded me of eating raw oysters once as a kid - an experience I really would like to purge from my memory if I could. -shudder-
Overall, I think next time I am going to fry the Pelmeni, or maybe do something in a ramekin in a mini-casserole style...
These dumplings were almost alright, but they were just plain boiled and therefore it wasn't very nice. The boiling made the outer covering all gooey and a bit bad, I had to eat almost all of them with salad in order to get them down my throat.
The meat was good, if I removed all the outer coverings I could have gobbled them all down easily, so next time I think it would be better if they got cooked a different way, like frying. It might be an idea to try putting some sort of dressing on them next time, for there wasn't a lot of flavour, only the taste of the meat.
It was hard to keep the pasta on my fork, it was all soggy and slippery, so A) it felt like I was slipping toy slime down my throat, B) It was a bit like jelly and so I had to stab it if I actually wanted to get it down me, and C) It was falling apart, leaving the meat behind and gloopy fragments of pasta. In flavour, I would give this product a rating of 3 out of 10, but only because the meat tasted good.
These are definitely going to have to be fried, for the instructions only seem to say how to defrost them, the rest you will have to do yourself in order to make a good meal. I advise you properly cook them once they've been defrosted, although, this could be a good way to get used to a certain French dish I have in mind... Ciao!
My first impressions of the Beef and Pork dumplings was "they're a bit small aren't they?". This was the first time I had ever tried dumplings other than the Chinese style so being Russian style it was something a little a bit different.
The Pelmeni were very simple to prepare, not much more than boiling them in water required. When served the texture of the outer dough shell is pretty much what you would expect from dumplings and not sticky to the palate at all. The meat filling seemed to be lightly seasoned in comparison to their Chinese counterparts , however this does have an appeal particularly when also taking into consideration younger members of the family who complain at the slightest hint of flavour.
On the packet it says that it can be served with pretty much any sauce and I have to say they are quite tasty with the good old fashioned tomato sauce.
Although they weren't a stand-out, overall I was happy with the product and would buy them again as something a bit different for all the family when looking for an easy meal to prevent the trip up the road for takeaways.
I am generally quite a fan of dumplings and have a pretty good dumpling soup recipe that I normally do, so I was pretty keen to try these out. The first I noticed was that they seemed pretty small compared to what I normally use. We cooked them up a similar method we normally use, we boiled beef stock until they float to the surface. We had them with steamed vegetables and followed the recommendation on the pack of a little tomato sauce. To lower the amount of fat, we tried boiling first then browning in a lightly oiled pan but this didn't work and the outer just came off.
They tasted quite nice but I was disappointed in the sausage meat like filling, I was hoping for something more resembling meat pieces or even mince. They were a hit with junior members of the family who have normally turned their noses up at dumplings so that was success.
Overall they weren't bad and I would have them again if I saw them on special but I must admit they probably wouldn't be the first brand I reached for.
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