Cheburek with Meat or Cheese
I knew of suberek, it's also called cheburek (chebureki) back home. I just wasn't so keen on cooking it, there are loads of pie recipes after all, why bother making another one? But my husband asked me to cook for him the cheese suberek just like his mum used to. She used to cook this recipe very often when he was little and it was one of his childhood delights. I followed the recipe below and the pies were so good, that I immediately decided I had to post it on the website. This way, I also saved the recipe in my cookbook.
The exemplary cheburek is made with mince meat and it's extremely tasty, crunchy on top, juicy on the inside, plenty of filling, not too much pastry etc. But I really enjoyed the version with salty Romanian white cheese. They are a sort of quick pies which I think you should try. The next day, they will be less crispy, but still good and tender.
for the dough
whichever you prefer, a bit fattier is better
for the meat
Ground black pepper
the quantity may vary, depending on how many subereks you are making
Step by step
Combine 200ml water, 30ml oil and 0.5 tsp salt in a pot. Place over heat and cook until it starts to boil.
Pour this mixture into a medium-sized bowl, in which you will knead the dough.
Add 150g flour, stir well with a spoon and allow to cool down for 5 minutes.
After that, add 1 egg to this mixture, combine.
Stir in the remaining flour and start kneading the dough with a spatula at first, as it still might be a bit hot.
Then use your hands to make it soft and smooth.
Cover this big ball of dough with plastic wrap and let rest on the table for 10 minutes.
After that, knead a bit more, then cut into 8 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a ball, arrange them all on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rest for 10 minutes, until you prepare the filling.
For the meat filling - combine the ground meat (whichever you prefer) with 1 finely chopped onion, 0.5 cup of cold water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper.
Take each ball of dough, press it gently with your fingers and dust it with flour.
Using a rolling pin, roll out into a thin round, about 20cm in diameter.
Place about 2-3 tbsp of the minced meat filling on one half of the circle.
Fold the other half of the circle over and press the edges firmly together using your fingers or a fork.
After you've made the first 2 chebureki, heat some oil in a pan and place the them in the pan to fry.
The heat should be medium, so that the pies can cook through properly. The heat shouldn't be too low either, we don't want the dough to absorb too much oil and the pies to be too oily.
Cook the pies until nice golden brown on both sides.
While the first 2 subereks are cooking in the pan, prepare the next 2. This way, the process goes fast and smooth, without unnecessary breaks.
As they are done, stack the pies one over another with kitchen paper on the plate and between them. Kitchen paper will absorb the excess oil.
For the cheese suberek, it's the same process, only that you place cheese instead of meat on one half of the circle. Crumble some salty telemea (Romanian white cheese) with your hands. You can adjust the quantity, whether you like more or less filling.
Of course, the pies are the best if served while they are hot, but we loved them later as well. Even cold, they are still tender and tasty.