We were late to the party with our Russian inspired post this week as a result of a fantastic weekend exploring the North Yorkshire Moors. We did however manage to pick up a few bags of farm fresh ingredients for today’s attempt at Russian food whilst discovering lovely Yorkshire towns. We loved Think Fresh in Helmsley.
In all honesty, we found it hard to get into the spirit, we weren’t really sure what to expect from Russian cuisine and nothing we read seemed to appeal. How short sighted we were! After much internet perusing we made Pelmeni, typical Russian dumplings which were so tasty and easy to make.
We can’t pretend to know a lot about Russian food and our research to find local suppliers with links to Russia led us nowhere really. The closest we got to Caviar was this…(definitely giving it a go in a completely different context soon!).
Until we discovered Pelmeni, we were forced to use some creative licence….or more accurately Poetic Licence….
When a Finnish driver wins a Russian race, one’s mind naturally turns to certain clear spirits…and with distillers Poetic Licence on our metaphoric doorstep, Vodka seemed to be a sensible place to start. We really enjoyed raising a refreshing Vodka and Tonic to this week’s winner in the fresh Yorkshire air! We’ll be posting a full review of Poetic Licence soon, along with some other local spirits.
Whilst V&Ts were apt, we did feel a bit lazy relying on this for our Russian contribution and so we challenged ourselves to make Pelmeni, little Russian dough filled dumplings filled with a mix of pork and beef mince. A mix between ravioli, gyoza and Chinese steamed dumplings, Pelmeni are absolutely fantastic. We put a lot of the success with these down to quality, hand minced meat from our favourites, Block & Bottle.
The dumplings were really easy to make, we used this recipe from Russian Bites. The dough follows a ‘pasta-like’ recipe with the addition of water and is left to rest for 30 minutes once it is mixed to a silky texture. The filling is simply half pork mince and half beef mince with onion puree and seasoning, we added garlic to suit our own taste. The parcels are folded into little dumpling shapes (pick your favourite…) and boiled for a couple of minutes. The resulting texture was great and we think you could adapt these to your own taste with various spices and other ingredients, although they may no longer count as Pelmeni!
We served our dumplings with red cabbage slaw and a spicy mushroom stroganoff sauce. We were pleased to have a little extra sauce. For as much as the Pelmeni are delicious, the sauce was a welcome addition to pair with some of the doughy ‘tails’ on the dumplings (we haven’t yet perfected the shape and we sometimes had the odd bit of excess or breakage!).
These are definitely worth a go for something different!
We really enjoyed trying Russian food and we’re pleased to learn that our horizons can still be expanded! We’ll be trying this again, maybe experimenting with some other fillings too. We can’t wait for the F1 Circus to reach Azerbaijan for our next ‘culinary trip’ East. We already have a few ideas and look forward to getting stuck in!