Homemade Pierogi Recipe!
I decided to tackle the pierogi, a food my Slovak grandmother and her parents before her grew up eating. I also grew up around a lot of Ukrainians, Polish, and Germans and everyone seemed to know some version of this perfect treat. The filling is what always changed. I always had them with a basic mashed-potato filling. They were usually boiled and served with brown butter. Growing up this was one of my favorite foods and I associate it with home above all other dishes. It was so popular that during our town's annual festival local churches sold them frozen by the dozen so people who didn't want to make them from scratch could have them for big holidays ahead.
How to make Homemade Pierogi.
The pierogi is an Eastern European potato dumpling. You can boil them or fry them (I suggest both actually). This is an adaptation of a recipe I found online and failed at because I am horrible at following directions. Today I retried it and nailed it using my gut, tasting everything as I went, and adding more egg, butter and oil. The recipe is two parts: filling and dough.
8oz container of Sour Cream
2 tablespoons of butter (melted)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons veggie oil.
4 cups of white flour
salt and pepper
5-6 medium sized potatoes
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
optional: diced onions or cheese
Make the Filling First
For the filling just make some basic mashed potatoes. I skinned, diced, and boiled 5/6 medium sized white potatoes. I strained them when soft, mashed them up, added a whole stick of butter and salt and pepper to them. Taste the mashed potatoes when you make them. It is okay if it feels too rich, it is meant to be a filling inside dough in small tablespoons at a time. If you're crazy add some diced onions or cheese to this. I don't suggest adding meat. This is a killer vegetarian dish (not vegan), and hearty enough to satisfy a carnivore like me. Stick this in the fridge to cool down while you make the dough.
Take the sour cream, the melted butter, veggie oil, and 3 eggs and whip them together in a bowl and set them aside. In another, larger bowl take the 4 cups of flour, about 2 teaspoons of salt, and the baking powder and mix them together. Add the whipped wet stuff to the dry flour bowl. Mix by hand until you have playdoh-textured dough. Set is aside for 15 minutes to think about its life choices. Pour yourself a drink and forget about yours.
Making the Dumplings
Now all you need to do is get some of that dough in your hands. You need to roll it flat - and while you can take it all and use a whole table making a sheet of dough ready to cut into circles to make the dumplings - I suggest taking a ping-pong sized handful of dough and rolling it flat one at a time. Take those little circles and place a spoonful of your mashed filling inside. Fold them over like tiny calzones and pinch them shut. I use a fork to decorate and seal the edges as well. This is an important step to make sure they don't open up later.
Put a lightly-salted pot of water on the stove and get it boiling. Drop in just one or two dumplings at a time. Let them boil just until they float to the top. I am talking like 2 minutes. If you let them soak like a murdered lobster they become slime balls. Take out with a slotted spoon. Set aside boiled dumplings. They can cool for a little and dry off.
Get out a frying pan and put some veggie oil in it. Turn up the heat and get the oil hot and poppin' and GENTLY add the (now cooled and dryish) dumplings and fry till lightly browned. Set aside, once cooled you can freeze them for easy fast-food later this winter or eat them all like a possessed werewolf like I do.
If you are ready to eat, set on plate, salt as desired. Want to do it right? Pour browned butter over them serve with fried onions! Your life is now changed forever. You are welcome.