Piroshki with Meat

Piroshki (or Pirozhki)  is a word for an individual-sized baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Piroshki are known as Russian hand pies with different types of fillings. Almost any product can be a filling for piroshki, but the most popular contain meat fillings (usually cooked and grounded beef) or a vegetable filling (mashed potatoes, mushrooms or cabbage).
Piroshki can be either baked in the oven or fried in the oil. They also differ in the dough from which they are made, usually yeast or puff pastry dough.
In Baku cuisine, Russian piroshki are very popular, it is almost impossible to find a single person in Azerbaijan, which has never tried piroshki at least once in their life. In many countries, pastries like piroshki could be found under the different names, but it does not change the basic character of this delicious fast food.

Ingredients for the dough:
Milk – 1 cup
Dry yeast – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Egg – 1
Melted butter or oil – 3 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Flour – 3 cups
Ingredients for the filling:
Meat – 450 grams (1lb)
Butter or oil – 50g (1.7 oz)
Onion – 1
Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying – 2 cups

Prepare the meat filling.
Cooked meat cut into small pieces. Place meat in a frying pan, add salt, pepper and finely chopped onion. Fry in the butter or oil until golden brown. Cool down and ground in a meat grinder, add a few tablespoons of meat stock. Your stuffing is ready.
Prepare the dough.
In a cup of warm milk dissolve the yeast, one tablespoon of flour and sugar. Put the yeast mixture in a warm place to rise. Mix in a large bowl egg, salt, warmed melted butter and yeast mixture. Start kneading the dough by slowly adding the flour. Do not add all the flour at once. Some flour you will use for dusting the layers. Knead the dough well until it smooth and soft. Lightly dust your hands with the flour as the dough sticks to your fingers. Put the dough in a large pot and cover with a clean tea towel. Put the pot in a warm place, to make the dough rise. From risen puffy dough tear equal pieces and roll them into small balls (about the size of a golf ball). Each ball smash with your hand, put meat filling evenly in the middle of each piece (approximately one tablespoon), keeping a small border all the way around. Bring edges up to enclose the filling, pinching them together to form a tight seal and making sure the piroshki are completely closed.
Preheat the oil in the pot. Deep fry piroshki on both sides, first with the seam side, over medium heat, until golden brown, then gently turn and fry other side. To avoid crowding the pot, fry in batches. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towel and let drain the extra oil. Serve warm.

Bon Appétit! Enjoy!

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