Grandmother and math teacher Ruth Teig teaches Mo Rocca how to make classic Jewish cuisine on My Grandmother’s Ravioli. On the menu is kreplach (or Jewish ravioli.) Ruth surprises Mo with a large live Carp in her bathtub to teach him how generations of Jews in Europe would keep their fish fresh before the invention of refrigeration. Mo also gets to taste Ruth’s magical coffee cake that she uses as currency to feed household workmen and to allows her to skip to the front of long lines at the DMV.
• 2lbs Boneless Chuck or Brisket
• 1 bottle of dry red wine
• 1 large onion chopped plus 3 large onions sliced
• 2 carrots chopped
• 2 celery stalks chopped
• canola oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• 3 cups flour
• 4 large eggs
1. Place the meat, the chopped onion, carrots and celery in a large dutch oven. Add the bottle of red Wine and cook in a 375 degree oven until meat is fork tender. This should take about 1-2 hours. Let cool.
2. In a large skillet, over a medium flame, sauté the 3 sliced onions in canola oil until they are completely caramelized. remove from heat and let cool.
3. Chop cooled meat into large pieces that will fit into the spout of a meat grinder. Using a meat grinder, alternate grinding the meat and the caramelized onions until it has all been ground together. taste mixture and if necessary, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. Place all of the flour and the eggs in a food processor and let it run until it forms a dough.
5. Remove the dough from the food processor, cover it with a dry dishtowel, and let it rest on the counter for a half hour.
6. While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s come to a boil, lower the flame so the water is simmering.
7. Cut the dough in quarters. Leaving the other sections covered, take one of the sections and on a well-floured board roll it out until it’s approximately 1/4” thick.
8. Using a knife, cut the dough into approximately 2” squares.
9. Place a teaspoon of filling onto the center of each piece of dough.
10. Wet the sides of the dough with water and fold the dough corner to corner crimping the dough together with your fingers to form a triangle.
11. Join the two ends together like a little ring, as with tortellini or wontons. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
12. To cook the kreplach, in small batches place them carefully into the pot of simmering water. when they rise to the top of the water cook for another 5 minutes.
13. When the kreplach are cooked, remove with a strainer and place them in a bowl with a little bit of oil. This will prevent them from sticking together.
14. Serve in chicken soup, as a side dish, or put them in a 350 degree oven until they get crisp and brown around the edges.