Dish of the Week: Braised Beef Kreplach

Serve these dumplings in chicken noodle soup or brown gravy.
Serve these dumplings in chicken noodle soup or brown gravy.
Photo by MMChicago

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, in honor of the upcoming Jewish High Holidays Rosh Hashanah (beginning this Wednesday) and Yom Kippur (beginning Friday, October 3), we're sharing a recipe for kreplach.

Kreplach are small dumplings filled with ground meat (or sometimes potato). They are often served on Rosh Hashanah, the eve of Yom Kippur, Hoshana Rabbah, and Purim.

There are several explanations for the origin of the word, some saying the letters K, R and P each represent a different Jewish festival on which they are eaten (K for Kippur; R for Rabba; and P for Purim), with the suffix "lach" meaning "little" in Yiddish. But it is likely derived from the German word krepel, meaning fritter or the Old High German word kraepfo, meaning grape.

The preparation is simple. A soft dough made of flour, water, and eggs is used to envelop a minced or ground meat mixture. The tiny triangles are then poached in either water or broth before being served in soup or fried and served with gravy, sour cream, and/or apple sauce.

This recipe, slightly adapted from Ruth Teig, uses red-wine braised chuck or brisket to make a flavorful, beefy filling, but sauteed ground beef can be substituted so long as it's well seasoned. This dough uses just flour and eggs, making it incredibly supple and slightly chewy.

Braised Beef Kreplach yields about 35 dumplings

Ingredients For the filling: 2 lbs boneless chuck or brisket 2 carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 4 large onions, 1 chopped and 3 sliced 1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bottle dry red wine Canola oil Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika to taste Special equipment: meat grinder or food processor

For the dough: 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 4 eggs

For serving: Chicken soup, brown gravy, apple sauce, sour cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the filling: Place the meat, carrots, celery, chopped onion, and bay leaf in a large Dutch oven. Add in the red wine until meat is just covered. Place in the oven and cook, uncovered, until the meat is fork tender, about 1½ to 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Over medium heat, coat a large skillet with olive oil. Add sliced onions and garlic and sauté until softened. Set aside and allow to cool.

Once the meat has cooled, cut it into cubes and add to meat grinder or food processor, blending until ground. Alternate grinding meat and caramelized onion mixture until it is all blended. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

For the dough: While the meat is cooking, place the flour and eggs in a food processor and process until the mixture forms into dough. Remove the dough from the food processor and cover it with a dry dishtowel. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat so the water is simmering.

Cut the dough into quarters. Leaving the other sections covered with the dishtowel, take one section and roll it out on a well-floured surface until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Cut the rolled-out dough into 2-inch squares. Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of each piece, then wet the sides of the dough with water and fold the dough corner to corner, crimping the dough with your fingers to form a triangle. Join the two ends of the triangle together to form a little ring, similar to tortellini. Repeat the filling and shaping process with the rest of the dough.

Place small batches of kreplach carefully into the pot of simmering water. When they rise to the top of the water, cook them for another 5 minutes. When the kreplach are finished cooking, remove them from the pot with a strainer and place them in a bowl with a little bit of oil to prevent them from sticking.

Serve in chicken soup or bake/fry until golden brown and serve with brown gravy, sour cream and apple sauce.

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