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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Incredible Homemade Pierogies

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Incredible Homemade Pierogies

I made a lot of food this past weekend.  Not gonna lie.

The most time consuming dish was, of course, pierogies.

Pierogies, if done correctly, are pretty much heaven on a plate.  If you've never had one, I'm really sorry for you.  If you have but your only relationship is with a box of Mrs. T's...I'm still sorry.

If you're feeling ambitious, give these a shot.  And really, honestly, they are NOT difficult to make, especially if you're making a reasonable number of them and you're not trying to make three varieties.

So let's see how this all went down, starting with the filling.

I took four of the onions you see before you and chopped them up superfine in the food processor.

Mmm...butter...a stick of it.  Once it was melted and bubbling, I added the onions and cooked them until they were a beautiful golden color.  Then I set them aside so I could use the pan for mushrooms.

While the onions were cooking, I roughly chopped 4 oz of mushrooms.

And no, I didn't measure it.  It was half of an 8oz package.

Once they were browned (again, in butter...yeah, get used to it) I added aboooooout two cups of sauerkraut which had been drained.  It doesn't need to be perfectly drained because you'll toss it in with the mushrooms and continue stirring it around in the pan, so excess moisture will cook off.  Once that happens, add in around a third of the onion mixture (or more if you're so worked out to around 1/2 cup), and some black pepper.

I have to say, the sauerkraut pierogies are my absolute favorite! You have the meaty flavor of the mushrooms, the tangy briny taste of the kraut and the sweetness of the onions.  It's out of this world.

Next I tackled the cottage cheese.  Cottage cheese pierogies often use egg in the filling but I find that it works just as well without.  Just my opinion, though!

This is what I like to call improvising.  See, the cottage cheese (a 16 oz container) needs to be drained as much as possible.  I have heard that there is such a thing as dry cottage cheese, if that's even what it's called, but I have never seen it in stores.  I didn't have cheesecloth so I used a brand spanking new, never been used knee high! Yes, I dumped the cheese into the knee high, tied a knot at the place where the cheese ended, and wrapped the rest of the stocking around the neck of a wine bottle.  I then suspended the stocking over the container the cheese came in to let the liquid drain into that overnight in the fridge.

I make it work somehow.

Into a bowl went the cheese and along with it, another 1/2 cup of onions, plus some salt and pepper.  Yummmmmy!

Finally I made the potato filling.  Again, this is very simple.

2 cups mashed potatoes + 1/2 cup onions + salt + pepper.

The potatoes were mashed with sour cream and a little skim milk.  First I mashed them by hand and then whipped them up with my hand mixer.  I wish I had a ricer - a ricer would be perfect for this.  You don't want any lil (or big!) potato bits.

Okay.  Fillings are finished.  Time for the dough.

In reality you could make the dough first and let it rest in the fridge while you make the fillings.  Ya know, if you're pressed for time.  It only makes sense.

Start the dough with 8 oz of sour cream and 3 eggs.

Mix them until they are nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, combine three cups of flour, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 tbs of baking powder.

Add all of that to your eggs and sour cream and, using the dough hook (or a big spoon!) combine everything until a dough forms.  I like to sprinkle some flour on my board and knead it (very gently) for only a minute and then form it into a ball.

Wrap it up and let it sit in the fridge for an hour while you work on your filling(s) or watch tv or something.

Then it's time to get to work on putting these babies together.

Precious few pictures of this phase, namely because I had dough and flour all over my hands.  What you'll do is this:

Flour your work surface, and don't be afraid to be generous here.

Cut off a small amount of dough and make sure to cover the remainder.  You'll be working in small batches so as to lessen the amount of time you'll be working with the dough you cut off - if you have over a dozen pierogi to fill at once, by the time you get to the last one the dough will have started to dry out.

Roll the dough out as thin as you can, but not so thin as to tear.

Cut out your circles.  I use a tumbler since I don't have a biscuit cutter.  Pull up your scraps and cover them with the rest of the dough - these can be rerolled and re-cut.

Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. 

Then bring the edges together in a half-moon shape and squeeze and squeeze.  I don't bother moistening the edges because I inevitably moisten too much.  And I always make sure to have flour on my fingertips so no moisture from my fingers pulls the dough away.

Then use a fork to finish sealing.

I place each type of pierogi on a cookie sheet and place the sheets in the freezer as soon as they're full or I run out of filling, and once they're frozen I place them in freezer bags.

I will tell you that I wound up making a second batch of dough because I had a ton of filling and really wanted to make extra.  So no, don't expect all of that filling to be sufficient for one batch of dough! Plus sometimes I save extra kraut and/or cottage cheese and mix it with noodles - YUM!

Anyway, come Easter Sunday I boiled these babies up!

I'm so completely crazy over pierogies when I cook them.  You can't cook too many at one time, and if they're overcooked the dough becomes chewy and gets this really dry taste, I can't explain it.  I've found that once they've been floating for a solid two minutes, it's time to get them outta there.  Feel free to take a test taste to be certain - that's why you made so many! Recruit a reliable taster or two if you don't want to be the one eating all of them!

I remove them with a large, slotted spoon and place them in a bowl, then immediately douse them with melted butter and toss them gently around to coat so they don't stick together.

I also made a big old pan of these beauties to serve on the side...drool...

Because there's just not enough onions in the filling.

Sour cream is good on the side, too!

And here's the finished product...

100% worth the effort!

Also, I have to say because a commenter reminded me - I once made pierogies by filling large, cooked pasta shells and covering them with the browned onions.  And they were great! So if you love the idea of playing with fillings but the thought of sealing all these little pockets makes you want to kill yourself - give it a shot that way! And let me know how it turns out!


Sharing with:

Just Something I Whipped up - The Girl Creative

Sumo Sweet Stuff

Punkin Seed Productions

Hey What's For Dinner



Blogger Bumpkin on a Swing said...

I don't think I can do this, I just don't. Maybe I should just try it uh? It looks so hard!

April 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Blogger Sherry said...

I have never even heard of this.... Where have I been all these years?

April 5, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I've got a Russian family member who makes these religiously around Christmas. Now, we all do it together (with all kinds of variety in the filling) and have made it a tradition. It is easy....with a lot of family and some can have a great party with pierogies!! I'll have to forward your blog onto him. :-)

April 5, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Blogger Allison @ House of Hepworths said...

Thanks for the really sweet comment on my blog!!

And OMG I wish I could make pierogies like yours! I guess I can craft and you can cook! Dang, we should swap sometime. I'll give you a craft if you cook for me. ;)

April 5, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Blogger Ruby Red Slippers said...

Those look sooooo good-I am not the cook around here, so I will pass this right along to my hubby and beg him to make it for me...So yummy looking-
Happy Easter!

April 5, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Blogger Cole said...

Wow! Those look so good!!

April 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for visiting my blog earlier. i'm glad you found me, because i've been following you. :) thanks for sharing this recipe. i've never heard of these before, but they look amazing.

April 5, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Blogger Melissa said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I've had great pierogies, but the only ones I've made at home have come from a box. I'm not sure I'm ready to give this a try, but you've nudged me closer to it. :)

April 6, 2010 at 7:18 AM

Anonymous Aubree Cherie said...

Wow, these are pretty amazing! I don't know if I would have been brave enough to try them. And they look beautiful! (LOVE the knee high too, so clever :))

~Aubree Cherie

April 6, 2010 at 7:28 AM

Blogger Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Oh my goodness. These look mouthwateringly delicious. Way to go!!

April 6, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Blogger Writing Without Periods! said...

My husband loves these things. He's always talking about how his mother used to make them. I'm going to try to follow your instructions.

April 6, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Blogger Gigi said...

oh, forgot one thing. I really like to melt the butter in a saute pan and actually lightly brown the pierogi in the melted butter after boiling. Gives them a nice lightly crunchy crust!

April 6, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Blogger Gigi said...

Stopping by after seeing your "non mommy blog" post on SITS. I am a Polish girl and fellow food blogger and I love my pierogi...never made them from scratch and they are tough to get now that I live in Texas. I may try these. Will definitely follow you! :)

April 6, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Blogger Kristi Flanagan said...

You are making me hungry! Come plant your creative seeds (or recipes) at my new blog party: Plant a Punkin Seed at Punkin Seed Productions. It is usually on Fridays but is up all this week because I'm doing a give away.

Punkin Seed Productions

April 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Jen, just a quick note to let you know that I mentioned and linked to you today in my posting :-}

April 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Blogger Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

I am soooo in love...

these are terrific. In another life, i lived in NYC for awhile. Just around my corner was an Italian bakery that had a Polish cook that made lunch (only in NYC). These were always on teh limited menu and I so miss them!

GREAT post

April 6, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I hadn't had pirogies in so long I almost forgot they existed! Yum! thanks for the recipe

April 6, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Blogger Chats the Comfy Cook said...

You are some cook. These are amazing and I love pirogen but have never made them. You have to keep pushing me but not for another two weeks.

April 7, 2010 at 12:46 AM

Blogger Sherrie said...

I am so going to try this recipe but using the pasta shells. I always have that in the house. Thanks for sharing.

April 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Blogger Kristi Flanagan said...

I'm still hungry every time I see these!!! Thanks so much for planting your creative seed at Punkin Seed Productions! Come back and plant again every Friday!


April 7, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Anonymous Wendy said...

OMG YUM! These look so good! I love Pierogies - never dreamed of tackling them myself - you make it look do-able!!!! Found you through SITS - so glad I did! :)

April 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Blogger Laura said...

These look so good, I mean seriously drool worthy good. Have not ever made them but must have them soon. I am hungry now! Thanks a lot :D

Thanks for linking up on Just Another Meatless Monday! This is so inspiring to me, can't wait to tackle them.

April 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Blogger Karen said...

These fillings look delish. I like the idea of making bigger ones, think I'll try that. New follower. blessings, k

February 8, 2011 at 12:43 AM


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