Last night I was contemplating the Christmas leftovers I have and decided to make something from my childhood. I grew up eating my Grandmas pierogi. I also contemplated making some shredded smoked turkey empanadas. I remember as a child sitting at the table making them with my Grandma and my Mom. The fillings always varied, potato, bacon and onions were always common as well as sauerkraut. It is important to me to teach my children how to cook. Not just BBQ but all facets of cooking. I want them to understand about food. That it doesn’t come from pre-packaged containers at the market. My daughter Lexi mixed the dough ingredients by carefully measuring out the ingredients. (Yes she was in her jammies)
The dough is very simple to make.
- 4 cup AP flour
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup water
- 1 egg beaten
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Form a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients. Knead for at least 8-10 minutes until the dough is a smooth ball. The dough needs to rest for a minimum of an hour or even overnight (covered with plastic wrap).
Once the dough was made I went and searched out the ingredients for fillings. The first leftover was grilled parsnips. I love grilling parsnips. I love the way they taste and I really like their texture. Then some of the sweet potato casserole (minus the pecans) and mashed potatoes. I also spotted a triangle of Brie and decided to put that in the mashed potatoes as well.
Each of the ingredients was mashed and either pureed in my new mini chopper. I wore out the last one and would like to thank my SIL Mary and BIL Johnnie for the new one. I also re-seasoned each of the fillings after tasting and making adjustments.
I keep it pretty simple for assembly. I roll out the dough to approx 1/4″ onto a floured surface. I use a glass with a 3 inch diameter for the circles of dough. (I could not find my big biscuit cutter last night) We then put in about 2 tablespoons of filling per pierogi. I like a really full pierogi. Fold over the dough and seal with flour dusted fork tines.
I like a 2 step cooking process to finishing pierogi. I boil them rapidly in salted water till they float to the top (approx 8-10 mins). Then I remove them with a slotted spoon (draining as much water off as possible) and place carefully in a pan of bacon drippings and butter turning them until they are golden brown. Serve with bacon, sour cream and sauteed or grilled onions. Alternately pierogis can be grilled ! We have done this and the texture changes completely. They become much more crispy and deliciously different!
If you do not want to cook all of your pierogi right away they freeze beautifully. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray. Line up a single layer of pierogi and repeat until done.
Place the entire tray in the freezer until the pierogi are completely frozen. Then place pierogi in ziploc bags until needed. They will keep well for at least 4 months.