Arts and Culture

Homemade Kreplach That Are Actually Worth the Work

Kreplach (Shannon Sarna)

(The Nosher via JTA) — Kreplach seem like the kind of dish only your bubbe would make. Especially from scratch. And I always felt intimidated to even try it. You have to make the dough, make the filling and shape it just right. (Turns out, actually you don’t.)

But last year I was lucky enough to spend time with a real bubbe and cookbook author (and also my friend), Ronnie Fein, who shared with me her tried-and-true method and recipe.

Turns out it’s easier than I thought: The kreplach don’t need to be perfectly shaped to be delicious, and they are definitely something you can tackle with a little planning and determination. You will need to make (or buy) some kind of filling ahead of time. (Note: You can buy some pre-cooked brisket or pot roast instead of making it from scratch.)

Many thanks to Ronnie for sharing her expertise and recipe with us.

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons cold water, approximately

For the meat filling:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
3 cups chopped, cooked beef (about 12 ounces – can be either ground beef or finely chopped leftover brisket or roast)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To make the dough: Place the flour, salt and beaten eggs in a food processor. Process while gradually adding just enough water to have the dough form into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour.

To make the filling: Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Place the chopped meat in a bowl. Add the softened onion (and garlic), egg, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.

Roll the dough, a portion at a time, on a floured surface until it is very thin (less than 1/8 inch). Cut dough into 2 1/2- to 3-inch squares.

Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Pinch the dough together to seal the edges (if necessary wet two sides of the square).

Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil. Cook the kreplach about a dozen at a time for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender.

To serve, place the cooked kreplach in chicken soup and cook for 4-5 minutes. You may also fry the kreplach in vegetable oil. Serves 12-18 kreplach.

(Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher.)

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