I made pierogies from scratch!
I am so beyond chuffed at the moment. I’ve never made pierogies before, but have always wanted to do so — our friends J & Miss R make pierogies at least once (possibly twice? Three times?) a year, by the hundreds I’m sure, and freezing all of the wonderfully tasty Ukrainian dumplings they don’t finish eating that first day of production.
I have been meaning to join Miss R for a day of pierogy making of my own, but the stars just don’t seem to align in my favour — a lot of exhaustion has been happening in my world, making a full day’s pierogy-making rather difficult for me to withstand.
On Christmas Eve this year, while lying in bed thinking of other things, I realized that the most obvious & brilliant way to recycle our mashed potato leftovers would be to use them as pierogy filling. The pieorgies that J & Miss R generously share with us are usually some variety of: cheddar & potato, cheddar, potato & bacon filling or any other similar combinations using potatoes.
Last Christmas, we discovered that J & Miss R also do a dessert-type of pierogy, filled with saskatoon berries, but I am not nearly as fond of the sweet dumplings as I am the savoury, especially when eaten with an indecent scoop of sour cream on the top. Tossing the pierogies into a panful of fried onions & bacon with melted butter is also a great way to enjoy them, certainly, but way more work than I am generally in the mood to put forth when I’m just after a bowlful of dumplings.
Mind you, if I am willing to put effort into a pierogy meal, The Hubbs’ favourite way of eating them is if I make a batch of cabbage rolls and make sure to have two generous layers of sauerkraut with the cabbage rolls snuggled in the middle of it all, and then serve the pierogies, naked, but lightly pan-fried, on the side.
The recipe that I used today, for the pierogy dough, came from Backseat Gourmet. I must admit, for my first attempt at pierogies, I am pretty darned pleased with my efforts, but they are nowhere near the same calibre as J & Miss R‘s and I don’t know that they ever will be.
I guess until the time comes where I can say that I have mastered J & Miss R‘s family pierogy recipe, I’ll just have to keep making more pierogies for practice, practice, practice!
Basic Pierogy Dough
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 large egg
2 cups recently boiled (very hot) water
In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt.
Whisk the oil and egg together in a measuring cup; add to the flour and stir until you have a coarse meal, like biscuit dough before you add the liquid.
Add the water all at once and immediately stir – it will look lumpy and ugly and as if there isn’t enough moisture to go around. Keep at it and the dough will come together.
Let it sit for 15 minutes, or preferably 30.
Makes lots of pierogies.