Chebureki – Ukrainian Meat Pie

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There seem to be many variations to this simple street food.  I first heard of Chebureki from a fellow Ukrainian language school classmate.  She raved about them.  My Ukrainian school teacher told me how she made them.  I then went in search of this recipe and after trying a few recipes posted on Russian and Ukrainian recipe sites, I have come up with my own rendition of Chebureki.  I hope you enjoy them!

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cups water, hot
  • 1 tsp. vodka (optional)

Into a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, oil and vodka.  If you prefer, leave out the vodka or just drink a shot!

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Heat the water to very hot, but not boiling and pour small amounts slowly into the dry ingredients, stirring the entire time.  It will be sticky.  Mix well to combine and then tip out onto a counter surface that has been lightly dusted with flour.  Knead until the dough is soft and smooth, no longer sticky.  If too wet, incorporate a bit more flour.  Place in plastic wrap or place in a covered bowl.  Now it’s time to make the filling.

 

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cup beef and pork ground meat
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (Crisco, Mazola)
  • 1 cup Salsa (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce, optional

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On a medium temperature setting, add the oil, chopped onions, garlic and ground meat to a fry pan.  Cook until the meat is fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the stove.  Drain the excess fats and then stir in the salsa.  If you are using the hot sauce, add it now as well.  I have found that 1 teaspoon was plenty hot enough, but if you like spicy heat, add more.  Set this mixture aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness.  If you are making appetizer-size chebureki, use a 2-3″ cookie cutter (you can also use a glass or an empty soup can) to cut out circles.  This is the same procedure as when you cut dough out for perogies.

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Place 1 -2 tsp. of the cooked meat filling onto the circles and fold over, sealing the edges.  Ensure the edges are tightly closed.  Cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out as you continue making the chebureki.  This recipe will make 24 small (2″ diameter) or 5-6 (4″ diameter).

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In a large fry pan, heat the oil on a medium temperature.  Test to see if the oil is ready and hot enough by just dropping a very small bit of dough into the oil.  It should sizzle and float.

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Fry the chebureki on both sides until a golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

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Drain onto paper towels to soak up any extra oil.

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Serve immediately.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze up to a month.  These can be reheated in an oven for 10 minutes or put into the microwave for 3 minutes.

 

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