Lithuanian-style beef and lamb pyzy

Lithuanian-style beef and lamb pyzy

50 mins
Laura Edwards

Vilnius in Lithuania is a mythical place, which lives on only in the hearts of the people who inhabited it before World War II. It was talked about as a slice of heaven with green pastures and orchards that were abundant in fruit. My grandma Halinka, frequently described it as a place where everyone was kind, and looked out for one another.

Poland and Lithuania have been like brothers throughout history, at times joined at the hip and at other times feuding. Therefore, Lithuanian cuisine has understandably had an impact on Polish cuisine. These dumplings are based on a Vilnius recipe that my grandma often reminisced about, this my interpretation, an ode to lost lands and times.


Quantity Ingredient
5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
rapeseed oil, for frying
100g minced lamb
100g minced beef
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons plain flour
white pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until completely soft. Drain, then mash (without adding any butter) until smooth. Allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (skillet) and fry the lamb and beef over a medium heat, using a fork to mash them together. After about 5 minutes add the cinnamon and continue to mash while frying. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate pan, fry the chopped shallot in a little oil until crispy. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Add the egg and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes and squeeze it all together with your hands. Season with salt and pepper. You need to make sure the potato dough sticks together well, neither too sticky nor too hard.
  5. Take a spoonful of the dough and form it into a flat pancake shape. Fill with a tablespoon of the meat mixture, seal the edges to make an oblong shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, this should make about twelve.
  6. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the pyzy into the water one at a time, then reduce the heat right down and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pyzy with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the pan of crispy shallots. Roll them around in the oily onions and their juice, before serving.
eastern european
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