Thursday, May 12, 2016

Belyashi - "Meat Donuts"

This is a very common, almost "street food" in Russia. It's belyashi (singular is belyash). They are like the pirojki where there is a filling wrapped in dough, except the filling in this case is meat and onions and the dough does not wrap all the way around to make a pocket.

They are fried at medium high, meat face down at first to seal in the juices. Then, they are flipped over and fried over medium until you can see the meat bubbling. The dough needs to rise for a couple of hours, so it needs to be made ahead of time

These are great with sour cream, or salsa or just by themselves.

Here is the original recipe that we used: http://gotovim-doma.ru/view.php?r=51-recept-Beliashi

On a plate

Just from the pan!

Cooking meat side down

Ready to fry!

Before folding

Ready for the pan!

Our circle cutter

Dough circles

Frying

this was before we got our temperature right

Ingredients:

Dough -
4 cups flour
4 tablespoons oil
1 egg
10-15 grams of yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of water

Filling:
1 lb ground meat (we used 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork)
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Canola oil for frying

Directions:

1. Combine yeast and warm water, let stand 5 minutes. Then, add all other ingredients and mix well until the dough does not stick to hands. Let stand for at least 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
2. Prepare the filling by combining the meat, onion and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
3. Once dough is risen, beat it down, and roll out. There are two ways to roll it out. 1 - roll out big sheets and use a large round cutout - this is our preferred method as it results in more uniform food. Or, 2 - make a sausage out of the dough and cut off circles, rolling out each circle to the desired size.
3. Fill each circle with meat and pinch in the tops to leave a circle of meat exposed on the top.
4. Heat up canola oil in a large pan - the oil should come up about half way to the belyashi.
5. Place belyashi meat down in the hot oil. Fry on medium high until the meat side dough is golden. Then, flip them over and lower the temperature until medium. If desired, you can cover with a lid. Cook until the meat mixture starts bubbling.
6. Once cooked, take out onto a plate with paper towels, or a cooling rack - this allows the oil to drip off and the belyashi do not get soggy. 

What we liked:

It was fun to make a new recipe. The meat was really good. 

What we didn't like:

It took us a while to get the temperature setting right, so the first batches were not optimally cooked - but practice makes perfect!

What Kaspian thought about it:

He loved them. He was at first a little suspicious of the meat, but once he saw that these get dipped in sour cream, they became about a million times more awesome. Who cares what you're eating if you're dipping it in sour cream...pretty sure those are Kaspian's thoughts. 

Next time:

Try smaller circles! The flatter/smaller ones might cook faster and better. :)