You have seen them in your grocery store. They often catch you attention. Stuffed morsels. They are in the frozen section. The pierogi. Frozen dumplings stuffed, probably, with crappy potatoes, from the frozen section that is. I mean, who freezes mashed potatoes? Dumplings. What more needs to be said? There is something about a dumpling, in any culture, that is truly comforting. Baked, boiled, or fried, dumplings are in the top five of my all-time comfort foods.
You have probably seen many of the dumplings that I have made in the past, however, the pierogi is something else. It is boiled, then pan fried, building this texture, almost like a posticker, but a bit thicker, and let me tell you, the filling, oh my. The filling can stand alone with any dish, but stuffed inside homemade dough, boiled, and seared? C’mon… you know where this is going right? All comfort with lots of those sound effects from your guests. Those sound effects as chefs that we all try to achieve. Enough said.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
Start by mixing about 2 cups of the flour and the salt into a large enough bowl to work with. Place the sour cream, butter, and egg into the flour, and with a wooden spoon, mix the the ingredients until you have a nice dough, almost like a biscuit dough. It will not be soft, but it will be somewhat course. Shape into a ball, being careful not to handle too much, and wrap into some plastic wrap, placing in the refrigerator for approximately one hour.
During this time, make your filling. Yes, there is delicious filling to this one. Instead of your standard mashed potatoes, I spiked mine with caramelized onions, and sharp cheddar cheese. You can do whatever you want, keeping in tradition of the pierogi.
- 3 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
Add your potatoes to a cool pot of water. Cover and bring to a boil, cooking for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, placing back on the stove, to remove any liquid. As the taters are cooking, add the sliced onions to a skillet, adding the butter, and sugar. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until nice and caramelized.
Get your potatoe masher, and do what it does, mash. Add the onions, cheddar cheese, and mix. Let this set to room temperature.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Get a skillet ready with some olive oil.
Get your dough ready. Add some of the flour to your bread board, or counter; whatever you use to knead and roll dough. Roll out the dough until pretty thin. I flour a pint glass and cut circular shapes, flouring, and setting aside. Use the remaining dough and repeat the process until the dough is gone. This makes about 15 circles.
Take the cooled mixture, and add about 1-2 tablespoon of the potatoes and place in the center of the circle. Fold over, sealing with your fingers. Be gentle as the dough is a bit fragile. Use a fork to seal the edges and make a nice pattern if you want. Repeat until done. Take about 3-4 of your formed half moon shaped pierogie and place in the boiling water, cooking for about 3 minutes or until they begin to float. Remove them with a slotted spoon, and immediately place in a the heated skillet of olive oil. Sear until golden brown on each side, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
These are ready to go at this time.
Eat them alone. They are addicting, however if you have the patience, serve with a bit of sour cream, and a nice chicken feta spinach sausage.
Forget the frozen section. It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t. If you have kids, they can help with the dough, and make the cut-outs. Truly comforting and a perfect dish for a late Sunday afternoon. Prepare yourselves.