Mishmash Kreplach

Beef, Potato, and Fried Onion Kreplach

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield: About

    50

    kreplach

Appears in

They started out in three separate piles, our weekday trinity: brisket, skirt steak, or sometimes a thick beef patty (it only became a hamburger when surrounded by a roll); one hill of fluffy mashed potatoes; and another of shimmering, bronzed onions. Under my grandmother’s tutelage, I learned the correct way to combine them in a sublime mishmash.

First, of course, stir the onions into the potatoes, adding little spoons of gravy or meat juices to make the mixing easier. Impale the meat on your fork and bury it deep in the potato pile. Withdraw and lick it like a lollipop, flavored if necessary with copious quantities of additional gravy and judicious sprinkles of pepper—there was probably too much salt to begin with.

Years later I found out that we were not the only family that engaged in mishmashing this classic trio. In these kreplach, a paean to the combination, I fashion the same ingredients into a simple but lush pasta package. Including mashed potatoes in a filling for pasta may seem an overload of starch. But as in my grandmother’s original mishmash, smooth, rich potatoes lend a creamy sumptuousness to the golden onions and savory shards of beef, especially when encased in thin, silky kreplach like these made from wonton wrappers.

Float the kreplach in homemade beef or chicken broth. They also make an outstanding appetizer or side dish, sauced with beef gravy or topped with sautéed mushrooms. Or pat the cooked kreplach dry, then panfry them lightly in oil with sizzled onions.

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Ingredients

  • 10 ounces onions, chopped (2½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (leftover is fine)
  • 1½ cups shredded cooked beef (leftover flanken, pot roast, or brisket)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • About 50 wonton wrappers
  • Egg wash (1–2 large eggs, as needed, each beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)

Accompaniments

Method

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onions in the oil over medium-high heat, tossing them frequently, until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and continue sautéing until the mixture is tinged a rich caramel color in spots. (Good fried onions should be an amalgam of several degrees of doneness: from nearly clear to butter yellow to speckles of deep bronze.) Salt and pepper to taste and scrape into a large bowl. Add the mashed potatoes and the meat and combine well. Season generously to taste and stir in the egg yolk. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  2. Fill and trim the kreplach, using about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling per krepl, and then folding it into a tight triangle and sealing it with the egg wash.
  3. Poach the kreplach. In a large, very wide pot, bring at least 5 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Slip in the kreplach, one by one, being careful not to overcrowd the pot (if necessary, cook them in batches or use two pots). Lower the temperature slightly (the kreplach might explode if the water is boiling furiously) and poach until tender, 3–6 minutes (exact time will depend on the brand of wonton wrapper used). Lift the kreplach out, a few at a time, with a large skimmer, gently shaking the skimmer so the water drains back into the pot (the kreplach are too fragile to pour into a colander).
  4. Serve the poached kreplach in broth, sauced with leftover brisket or pot roast gravy, or topped with fried onions or sautéed mushrooms.

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