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Piroshki
Servings: 4

2 1/2 t dried yeast
Pinch sugar
5 T warm water
2 1/2 oz butter
1 lb flour
pinch salt
8 T milk
2 eggs

1 medium onion
1 T oil or butter
8 oz minced beef / veal / chicken
salt
pepper
nutmeg
chopped herbs

2 T beef suet or jellied stock
chopped hard-boiled egg
1 egg for binding

1 lb fresh mushrooms
butter
chopped herbs
1 chopped hard-boiled egg
sour cream to bind

8 oz kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 medium onion
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms
1 hard-boiled egg

Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle
in a teaspoon of flour and leave for 15 minutes in a warm place.
Pour into a bowl, mix in the softened butter, sifted flour and
salt, the milk and the beaten eggs, and knead into a smooth dough.
Leave to rise until it has doubled in volume. Knead again and roll
out.

Cut out in small circles: you will be folding these in half to
enclose the filling in a semi-circle or canoe shape. Brush the
inner edges with a little milk to help them seal firmly. Then
either brush the piroshki with egg and bake in a moderate to hot
oven for about 10 minutes, until golden brown: or fry them,
uncoated, in deep fat.


For the meat filling:

Lightly fry the onion in the oil or butter, add the meat and cook
for 5 minutes. Combine in a bowl with the seasoning and herbs and
allow to cool. Pirozhki often come out rather dry because of the
small quantities of filling which cannot, as with a pie, be moistened
by the last-minute addition of stock. Both suet and frozen stock
in little chips have been recommended to me by conscientious Russian
pastry cooks to cure this fault. My objections are that suet makes
the pirozhki undesireably fatty, while the chipped stock needs
forethought and a sledgehammer, both of which go missing when I am
in a hurry. A better solution, I think, is to use stock either
naturally or artificially jellied with gelatine. Add 2 teaspoons,
finely chopped, to the mixture when it is absolutely cold from the
refrigerator, bind with egg and use immediately.


For the mushroom filling:

Chop the fresh mushrooms into quarters and cook gently in butter
with finely chopped herbs for 15 minutes. Season, add a little
chopped onion, chopped hardboiled egg or rice or both, and enough
sour cream to make a fairly moist filling.


For the buckwheat filling:

Cook the kasha in salted water for about 15 minutes until soft but
not mushy. Drain well and combine with chopped hard-boiled egg,
chopped fried onions, and chopped mushrooms saute'ed in butter.
Add seasoning and herbs to taste. Allow the mixture to cool
thoroughly in the refrigerator and add little pieces of very cold
butter. Use immediately.

These are basic traditional fillings, but there is plenty of scope
for invention along non-Russian lines; for example, egg and mushroom
filling, moistened with butter.

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