Orange is the New Black: Red’s Pirozhki

A review of Red’s Pirozhki from the Orange is the New Black Cookbook.

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Red’s Pirozhki
(Russian Meat Stuffed Buns)

e7d0fda5b2277cc7_Screen_Shot_2017-06-21_at_2.00.22_PM_2_.pngI’ve been putting this recipe off for a while since it seemed like a lot of work, but with the stay-at-home order right now it seemed like a perfect time to finally take a crack at this one!  Pirozhki is referenced in Season 2, Episode 8, when Red says that people used to wait outside her shop smelling her famous pirozhki.

I cut the recipe in half because 40 pirozhki seemed like A LOT.  I didn’t end up with 20 when cutting this in half, but it was enough to feed both my husband and I for dinner.

The pastry dough is made first.  In a food processor, flour, baking powder, salt, butter, eggs, and sour cream are processed until a dough is formed.  You’ll know the dough is ready when it lumps into a large ball.

The dough is kneaded a few times on a floured surface until smooth, then formed into a ball (or two if you’re doing the whole recipe), pressed into a disc, and wrapped in plastic.  It is kept refrigerated for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Next is the filling.  Onion and garlic are cooked over the stove, and then ground beef and dill seeds are added and cooked through.  Next cabbage and scallions are added, and finally balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper before removing from the stove to let cool completely.

Once you’re ready to fill, the dough is rolled out thin and cut into several rounds with a 3-inch cookie cutter (I used the rim of a drinking glass).  It says to toss the scraps, but I re-rolled them for more rounds.  I don’t see how you’d ever get 20 rounds out of one piece of dough without re-rolling.

Once you have all your rounds, they’re rolled out flat again because they will start to get smaller.  You want these to be pretty thin.  Then an egg wash is made and brushed onto each round.

Filling is added to one side of each circle, and the other half is folded over and pressed closed with your fingers or a fork.  I used my fingers at first, and then switched to a fork to make sure they were all definitely sealed.  I find the fork to be most effective.  These are brushed with egg wash once more before going into the oven to bake.


I had a lot of filling left over, so I tossed it in with some rice the next day for lunch.

Taste: 9/10

These are delicious!  My husband thought they needed a bit more spiciness to them, and I agree that the dough was a tad bland but I quite liked the filling.

Difficulty: Average20200404_181328

Like I always say, working with dough can be a challenge.  You need to be careful to roll it thin without the dough breaking, and you don’t want it to stick to the surface you’re rolling it onto either.

In this case, you also need to be careful not to over-stuff the dough because again, the dough could rip, or the filling could start spilling out and you won’t be able to properly seal the edges.

Cost: Average

Many items will already be in your kitchen, but you’ll definitely need to pick up at least a few things.  Ingredients include flour, baking powder, butter, eggs, sour cream, olive oil, onion, garlic, dill seeds, ground beef, cabbage, scallions, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and heavy cream.

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