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Ukrainian meat pastries (pyrizhky)

1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry granular yeast
1 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup butter or shortening or oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 to 5 cups sifted flour

Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over
it, and let it stand for 10 minutes. To the hot scalded milk, add
the butter, and cool to lukewarm. Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and
yeast. Mix in enough flour to make a medium soft dough as for bread.
Knead on a floured board until smooth and satiny. Return to the
bowl, cover, and let it rise until double in bulk. Punch down,
knead a few times in the bowl, and let it rise again. Use any
favorite filling in the recipes that follow.

To make pyrizhky, cut off small egg-sized pieces of dough, flatten
each or roll 1/4 inch thick. Place a generous portion of the filling
in the centre, bring the edges together, and press to seal securely
(I wet the edges with a bit of flour mixed with water for a better
seal). All edges must be free of filling. Shape into an oblong with
a plump centre and tapering ends. This is the traditional shape of
pyrizhky.

As an alternative method, the dough may be rolled 1/4 inch thick,
cut into squares, filled, and sealed as directed.

Place, sealed side down, on a greased baking sheet, spacing them
1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover and let them rise in a warm place
until light, for about 1 hour. Brush them with a beaten egg diluted
with 2 tablespoons of water or milk. Bake in a moderate oven (375
degree F) for 30 to 35 minutes depending on their size.



MEAT FILLING

1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef, or half pork and half beef, or leftover cooked meat
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup soup stock or water
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped

Cook the onion in half of the butter until it is tender. Add the
remaining butter and the meat. Brown the meat lightly. Season with
salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat until done. Remove
the meat. Stir the flour into the drippings. Add the soup stock or
water, then cook, until the sauce comes to a boil. Combine with
the meat and cool. Mix in the parsley and chopped eggs.


SAUERKRAUT FILLING

1 1/2 to 2 quarts sauerkraut
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 to 5 tablespoons fat
Salt and pepper.

Rinse the kraut well in warm water, squeeze dry, and chop finely.
Cook the onion in the fat until tender. Add the kraut and cook it
for about 15 minutes, or until the kraut is tender but not overcooked.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. For a mild flavored filling,
add some fresh cabbage that has been cooked, squeezed dry, and
chopped. This filling should be dry.

You can use other fillings, such as mushroom, or cottage cheese,
green onion, or liver filling.

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