Russian Pirojki Recipe
For today’s brunch, we set out to discover pirojki, in Russian пирожки, which are small baked or pan-fried chaussons from Russia. This recipe comes to us straight from the instagram account @papy_cooks, our friend and contributor Gerald.
Pirojkis are usually stuffed with minced meat, mushrooms, potatoes, cheese or vegetables. Russians also like to enjoy them as 𝙯𝙖𝙠𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙠𝙞 (appetizer) or as a quick lunch at noon. It is a very common street food in the country. Pirojkis originated in Russia, and is a smaller, individual version of 𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙤𝙜, a traditional Slavic pie. Also known as 𝙠𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙞𝙖𝙘, it can be savory or sweet.
On which occasion are Pirojkis made ?
Pirog, like pirojki, is a symbol of celebration in Russia. They are prepared for weddings, funerals, Christmas and Easter. The root of the word pir means “feast” in Slavic language.
These little turnovers are really delicious, and there is a variation of them in many countries, such as empanadas in Spain for example.
Russian PirojkiCourse: Finger foodDifficulty: Medium
Our Russian pirojkis recipe for 15 servings.
For the dough of the Russian pirojkis
500g sifted flour
250g of water
1 tablespoon of dry baker’s yeast (or 12g of fresh yeast)
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon of salt
50g of soft butter
- For the filling of the Russian pirojkis
350g of minced meat
2 big potatoes cooked
40g of butter
1 tsp of onion
1 teaspoon of garlic semolina
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 tsp of zaatar (oregano)
- Start by rehydrating the yeast: in a bowl, pour the 250g of water and heat in the microwave until it is lukewarm. Add the tablespoon of dry yeast, the tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour (deducted from the initial quantity). Stir and let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Then, in the bowl of a food processor, pour the sifted flour. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast/water mixture with the lightly beaten egg and the coarsely cut soft butter. Knead for 5 minutes. Add the tsp of salt and knead for another 10 minutes.
- Form a ball with the dough, take it out of the bowl and pour in the 2 tablespoons of oil (one for the bottom, one for the edges) and put it back in the bowl. Let it rise for 1 hour under a clean cloth or in the oven. De-air the dough and divide it into 55g pieces until the dough is used up. Place them on a baking sheet and let them rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, mashed potato them into a homogeneous paste. Add the butter and nutmeg and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Next, fry the minced meat in a hot oiled pan with the onion, garlic, zaatar, parsley, salt and pepper. Then combine the meat with the puree and mix it all together. If desired, add a handful of grated Gruyere cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roll out each dough into a 5/6mm thick circle, place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center, lightly moisten the edges and fold the edges from one end to the other to form a half moon. Using a fork, pinch the edges to trap the filling. Baste with egg yolk + milk mixture and bake for 20 minutes.