ime: 1 hour 45 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Applesauce, for serving (optional).
1. For filling: In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Toward end of cooking add garlic, and stir well.
2. Add beef, breaking it up well with side of wooden spoon. Sauté until it has lost its raw color. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and sauté another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. For dough: Mound flour on a wooden board (or in a large mixing bowl). Make a well in center. Break eggs into well, then add 2 tablespoons lukewarm water. With a fork, beat eggs and water together, incorporating a bit of the flour. As liquids blend, continue to push flour into well. Drizzle in 2 more tablespoons water, one at a time, or as needed to make a cohesive dough.
4. When dough is well blended, mix it by hand, then begin to knead it on a flat surface. With a bench scraper, turn dough and press it with your fingertips, then knead a few strokes again. The dough should remain slightly sticky but become smooth and elastic; if dough is very sticky, lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Form dough into a ball and let rest on the board, covered with a bowl or a piece of plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.
5. Using half the dough at a time, and keeping other half covered, roll out very thin on floured board. You may need to stretch as you roll. Alternately, use a crank-handled pasta machine on thinnest or near thinnest setting.
6. To fill and shape kreplach, cut rolled dough into 3-inch squares. Put 1 rounded teaspoon of filling in center of each square. With a brush or a finger, moisten edges of squares with water. Fold dough from corner to corner, forming a triangle, and seal carefully.
7. To cook kreplach, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add kreplach — do not crowd pot — and boil until dough is cooked and tender to taste, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and cool. (Kreplach can be frozen at this point. To use, thaw in refrigerator or at room temperature.)
8. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1/8-inch vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add boiled kreplach and fry until well browned and crispy on both sides. Serve hot, accompanied by applesauce, if desired.
Yield: About 2 dozen.