Sharing my mom’s secret to the softest and fluffiest piroshki (Russian hand pies) with simple beef and rice filling, but you can fill yours with whatever your heart desires.
Also try my equally amazing baked pirozhki here!
It’s official!! Dates are set. Tickets are purchased! We’re going to Mongolia next month!! And by we, I mean Grant and I. Unfortunately, it’s a busy season for my husband at the ranch and he won’t be able to join us this time.
But I can’t wait to be in my childhood home and be spoiled with mom’s cooking! I miss her cooking so much. If you’ve been around for a little bit, you’ve probably seen a few of her recipes already. But here’s another one.
These Russian piroshki (or pirojki, or pirozhiki, however you wanna spell it) are stuffed with simple meat and rice mixture and fried till golden brown perfection! This’s my favorite comfort food straight from my childhood.
It all starts with yeast leavened dough, which is so dreamy soft and fluffy. It’s truly the best part! I’ll share my mom’s secret for that super soft dough in a minute. But first, let me share a word about my trusted Red Start Platinum yeast. As you know, this’s my second recipe in partnership with Red Star Yeast, but it’s definitely not the only recipe I use it in.
I’m seriously a huge fan of their products, mostly because they consistently deliver amazing results.
Ok, now the secret to the softest piroshki dough is vegetable oil! That’s it. Stirring in some vegetable (or canola) oil right into the dough yields the softest and most tender dough you’ll ever bite into.
Now, you can fill the dough with whatever filling your heart desires, mashed potatoes, cabbage and meat, all meat, or in this case, meat and rice. Anything works here!
Another quick tip.
You don’t need a thermometer to fry these savory hand pies. Simply drop the end of a wooden spoon into heated oil, and if it’s bubbling up around the wood, that means the oil is ready for frying! Drop those pretty little nuggets into the oil and watch them turn beautiful golden brown. Since we’re using pre-cooked filling, it won’t take long.
By the way, these meat hand pies are perfect portable meal for picnics, potlucks and all the summer activities! Hope you’ll give it a try.
As always, thanks for reading!
Russian Piroshki (Meat Hand Pies)
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 packet Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast about 1 ½ teaspoons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240ml) warm water more if needed
For meat filling:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb (450g) lean ground beef
- 2-3 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked rice
- Oil for frying
- To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt.
- Add vegetable oil and water and mix until smooth. (If dough is too dry, add more water a little bit at a time until dough smooth and soft. Also, if the dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour.)
- Coat the dough with a little bit of vegetable oil and place it back in the bowl. Cover with damp kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rise, for about 30-60 minutes. (I put it in a microwave with a glass of hot water. Don’t turn on the microwave.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add the meat, garlic and salt. Cook the meat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Transfer into a large bowl and mix it with rice.
- Once the dough is doubled in size, take it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball, 1-2 minutes. Lightly flatten the dough ball into a disk, and divide into 12 equal parts as you slice a pizza. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
- To make the hand pies, take a piece of dough and flatten it with your hands. Put the filling in the center and fold the dough in half. Pinch the edges of the dough to seal, creating a half moon. Then gently flatten it between your palms, making sure the sealed crimps are on flat side. (If it’s not clear, check out the photos above.)
- Once all the hand pies are formed, heat 1-inch oil in a large skillet, or dutch oven. (Tip: You don’t need a thermometer to fry these savory hand pies. Simply drop the end of a wooden spoon into heated oil, and if it’s bubbling up around the wood, that means the oil is ready for frying!)
- To cook the hand pies, drop 4 hand pies in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook until it’s nice and golden. Remove into a bowl, lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue with the remaining batch.
- Serve piroshki warm or at room temperature.