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Busia's Pierogis

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Pierogis

I was fortunate enough to know my great-grandmother Busia, who like many immigrants, came to America from Poland for hopes of a brighter future. It's easy to say that because of her courageous move, we have grown up in America with much to be grateful for.
My grandparents have made sure that our family carries on many Polish traditions, especially around the holidays. One of the tastiest of them is making homemade pierogis for Christmas Eve dinner. This typically happens in production line fashion at my aunt's house the day after Thanksgiving. But my Busia always made them by herself-- and was known to make 6 or 8 dozen at a time for community functions and events.

I personally love the time consuming and very hands-on labor (and art!) of making pierogis. It makes me think of my Busia and the hard-work she did to affordably nourish her family. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps; making pierogis is actually quite easy-- just time consuming (or should I say meditative?)! 

For this recipe I made half potato + cheese pierogis and half sauerkraut, leaving me with a little extra filling to nibble on :). Check out our TikTok to see me crimping the edges, and don't hesitate to leave a comment with any questions or suggestions! 

Busia's Pierogis

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen pierogis
Time: approx. 2-3 hours

ingredients

For the pierogi dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
5 heaping Tbsp vegetable oil
4 large eggs
3/4 cup very hot water

For the potato filling
4 medium potatoes, quartered
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Spicewalla Black Pepper
2 tsp Spicewalla Celery Seed
7 slices mild cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp butter

For sauerkraut filling
2 cups of sauerkraut (such as Caraway seed Sauerkraut)
1 med sweet onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Spicewalla Black Pepper
3 tbsp butter

6-8 Tbsp butter for sautéing

preparation

1. Make the dough. Mix the flour and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and oil until frothy. Mix with flour mix.
2. Add 1/2 cup hot water to the dough, adding more until everything sticks together. (I like to do this with a KitchenAid mixer- but Busia did it all by hand!) Knead the dough until smooth, so there are no air bubbles when cut. This took me about 15-20 mins with the KitchenAid. Put in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.*
3. Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a pan on medium low-heat and sauté onions with salt and black pepper until they are translucent, about 10 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring onions so they don't burn.
4. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 mins, then drain. (I keep the skins on, but if you can peel potatoes if you prefer them without skin).
5. Put the cheese on top of hot, drained potatoes to melt. Mash everything together until smooth- they should be orange from the cheese.
6.Then add sautéed onions to the mix with 2 tsp of celery seed and more salt + pepper to taste. Set aside.
7. For the sauerkraut filling, wring the liquid out of the sauerkraut with a nut milk bag or towel.
8. Sauté the onion on med-low heat in 3 Tbsp of butter, salt and pepper. Keep stirring every few mins to make sure they don't burn.
9. Add the seasoned onions to the kraut and mix together.
10. Once you have your dough and filling prepared, it's time to make the pierogis! Take your dough and cut into small pieces, I was able to make 2 1/2 dozen by cutting them into 34g pieces.
11. Roll out each piece of dough to approx 1/4 in thick circle
12. Put 1 Tbsp of filling on one side of your rolled out dough, leaving space around the edge to fold over the other half and crimp.
13. Fold the unfilled half of the dough over the filling so the edges touch, creating a semi-circle shape. Pinch the ends of the dough together.
14. Starting from one side, pinch the end of the dough and fold over towards the other side. Continue this method all the way around the pierogi.
15. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Place a few of your crimped pierogis into the pot, and wait until they float, approx 3 mins. Continue with rest of pierogis.
16. Once you've boiled all your pierogis, you can either let them dry and freeze them, or, for fresh eating, sauté them in 1 Tbsp of butter for approx 2 mins on each side, until golden brown. Eat, and enjoy! You've worked hard for this!!

 

*You can make the dough a day ahead of time and keep it wrapped in greased plastic or a greased bowl with a lid. I highly recommend doing this- it will cut down on some of the work so you can focus on making your fillings and wrapping each pierogi :).

Dinner Polish

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Comments


  • We roll out the dough and cut w a circle cutter so they are uniform in size

    Karen on
  • Every black Friday, because I refuse to go out shopping, is my annual pierogi fest. 12 to 15 dozen for the year till next black Friday. Mashed potato and American cheese, 2+ pound cheese per 5 pound potato and salt. Had them all my life.

    Jeffrey W on

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