Zhizhig Galnash (Chechen Beef and Dumplings)

Zhizhig galnash is a a traditional Chechen dish of tender beef, vegetables, hand made dumplings and a garlic sauce made from the cooking broth, potatoes and garlic. I had never heard of this dish or had it before, but my husband sent me a link to it. A lot of new recipes I try come from things my husband and kids see online and send to me. I love this! It is like having 4 helpers searching the internet for good recipes all the time. 🙂

This recipe calls for cross cut beef shanks, which I could not find. Thankfully there was a replacement suggested which is chuck roast + some beef bones. I found both of those easily at my grocery and used them instead. The cooking method for the beef is slightly different than what I’d typically do with chuck roast, but I made the recipe as instructed.

The beef and bones are simmered in salted water for around 3 hours and then the resulting broth is used to cook the vegetables, make the dough, and cook the noodles. I loved that this was all done in one pot and that the broth picked up so much flavor along the way.

I was able to find a video on youtube on shaping these dumplings, which I needed having never seen anyone make them. There are apparently many ways to shape them and a certain shaping method might be known to a house or family. They were a little tricky at first but I got the hang of it quickly. It does take some time to shape all these little dumplings, although if you can recruit helpers it goes more quickly.

We love garlic in our house, so the garlic sauce that accompanies this dish was much appreciated. It has a ton of minced raw garlic so it is quite strong, but it goes so well with the meat and veggies and dumplings. This was quite delicious and I will make it again in the future.

Zhizhig Galnash (Chechen Beef and Dumplings)

Tender beef and vegetables with handmade dumplings and garlic sauce
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings


  • 6 lbs cross cut beef shanks or 4 lbs chuck roast + 2 lbs beef bones
  • 3/4 tbsp kosher salt give or take
  • 4 medium carrots quartered
  • 1 bag small yukon gold potatoes or 3 medium
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 1/2 cups AP flour


  • To a large stock pot add the beef, bones, 3/4 tbsp salt and 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a strong simmer and skim off the foam.
  • Cook until the broth has about 1/2 the initial volume and the meat is tender and flakes apart, about 3 hours. Using a strainer spoon, remove the beef from the broth and shred it once it is cool enough to handle. Drizzle with a little broth to keep it moist, cover and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and 1 cup of the broth to form a shaggy dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding a bit more water or flour to get a good consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, and additional salt if needed. If they are not fully covered add enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes until tender.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, make the dumplings. I found it best to watch a video online for the shaping of these, but here are the instructions too. Quarter the ball of dough and then halve each quarter to get 8. Roll each piece into a 1/2 inch thick rope. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces.
  • Using your three middle fingers, press one of the pieces and drag the pasta towards you to make sort of shell shape. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Finish all the pieces.
  • Add the beef back in, bring to a boil and then transfer meat and vegetables to a bowl and cover with foil. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash 1 quarter of a medium potato or one of the small potatoes. Add the garlic and 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth. Season with salt. Set aside.
  • Bring broth to boil and add the dumplings, stirring so they don't stick. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until tender. Arrange the beef, vegetables and bowl of sauce on a large platter. Drain the dumplings and add to the platter and pour a little broth over everything , just to moisten, it shouldn't be a soup.
  • Serve with extra broth along side for moistening further while eating. Enjoy!
Keyword Beef, Main Dish, Pasta

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