Who doesn't like pierogies? Really? Mmmmmm so tasty. Everyone is familiar with cheese and potato filled pierogies, but what about sauerkraut filled pierogies!? When I was a young lad, my step-mother (who is of Ukranian background) used to make sauerkraut filled pierogies all the time. I can remember 'looking' for them in the big Pyrex bowl on the table; they were always a hint darker in hue and colour than the other ones...!
Anyway, today I felt like trying my hand at making pierogies. I took two recipes into consideration. One had a great dough, but the filling amounts were of commercial quantity (not really, but 5lbs of potato for TWO of us? Nah). The other recipe's filling amounts were good, but the dough was 'meh'. So what you see here are those two recipes combined into one.
2 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup water, cold
2 or 3 good sized potatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup sauerkraut, fried in pan with brine reduced
2 slices Mortadella luncheon meat, chopped
1. Peel and rinse your potatoes. Chop the potatoes into cubes, and place in a large pot to boil on the stove. Cover with just enough water to touch the top of the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then cook for 15 mins at a gentle boil.
2. The next thing is to prepare your sauerkraut and mortadella. I simply fried these separately in a pan with a little bit of butter (mortadella). The sauerkraut I simply heated through to get rid of the moisture; I wanted 'dry' strands of cabbage for the filling.
3. Once the potatoes are done, drain them off well and then put them back in to the pot they boiled in. With the burner element turned off, place your pot back on the burner and gently move the potatoes around by shaking the outside of the pot. You want to get rid of any excess moisture here by drying them a little bit with steam. This only takes a couple of seconds - you be the judge - just don't let the potatoes get too dry or stuck to the bottom of the pot.
4. Add your cheese and spot of milk to your potatoes. Mash. Taste the potatoes and see if you need to add any salt or pepper. Season accordingly. Set the potato mixture aside to cool now.
5. Dough time. In a mixer, add your flour and salt together. Stir to combine. Whisk your egg in a separate bowl and slip in to the flour mixture. Now, drizzle your cold water in to the dough as the wand turns and make your dough. It should collect everything from the sides of the bowl and become a nice, firm yet tacky ball.
6. Bring that ball of dough out onto a surface where you can roll out your pieces and cut your shapes. I used the rim of a drinking glass, and then additionally rolled out each piece a bit before adding my fillings.
7. With each individual cut out piece of dough, drop a little bit of your choice of filling and then fold one end over the other. Pinch the rimmed edges together and then place your creation on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat. My dough made 20 pierogies. Once these are completed, place your sheet in the freezer for an hour.
8. Bring a pot of water to boiling. Then, slip in 10 of your pierogies in to the water. The frozen pierogies should calm the water down a bit, but if not turn your water down to a gentle, rolling boil. We don't want these precious babies of yours to burst open. Bad.
9. With a slotted spoon, gently lift your pierogies out and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off. At this point, I took out a frying pan and melted some butter and began frying my pierogies to crisp them up and get them a little brown. I had also fried up some onions to make them crispy and served my pierogies with sour cream.