The Pierogi Standard — A post by Molly

Pierogies are a staple of my family’s Christmas Eve dinner, and like any other holiday dish, it has good years and bad. In a good year we’ll have potato and cheese pierogies from the polish bakery in Pulaski, and in a bad year our aunt will sauté dessert pierogies with onions and garlic and no one will notice until they take a bite. For years my family has been at the mercy of other pierogi makers, and, like I said, sometimes it goes really well, and sometimes it doesn’t. Well I won’t stand for it any longer. This year for Christmas Eve I attempted to set my family free from the store-bought pierogi monopoly… my grandma brought frozen sauerkraut and potato pierogies, just in case.

I turned to my great-grandma’s parish cookbook, written by women affectionately called Bubba and who apparently were fine with a frosting made of whip topping and jell-o mix, but wouldn’t be caught dead with store-bought pierogies. It all seemed to be going really well, I got the dough really thin and the cheesy potato filling was nice and creamy. I even fluted the edges with a fork. Then, knowing we weren’t eating for at least two hours, I stacked the dumplings in a bowl and put them it the fridge. I stacked the dumplings. In. A. Bowl. I stacked them! Needless to say by dinner time the pierogies had formed a big doughy blob that would’ve probably absorbed the whole kitchen into its potato-y orifices had I released it. Surprisingly, I was able to dismantle the monster before it overtook my kitchen like a 50’s horror movie. I even salvaged most of the dumplings. After boiling them and frying them they turned out pretty decent. I’d say this is an okay pierogi year, with signs of better years ahead… at least they weren’t dessert pierogies.

Pierogi (Courtesy of  the Carpathian Cookery)

Dough

2 cups Flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

Water

Butter

1. Mix flour eggs and salt. Add enough water to make a medium soft dough

2. Knead until blishers appear. Divide into two portions

3. Roll out one portion thin and cut into 2 in. squares

4. Place 1 teaspoon of filling on each squre, fold in half and pinch edges to keep filling from escaping. Repeat 3 and 4 with second portion.

5. Drop into boiling water until pierogies float to the top (10 min)

6. Drain and saute in a sauce with butter and onions

Filling:

2 large potatoes cooked

1 heaping tbs butter

1/2 tsp salt

2 oz. sharp cheese

Mash together all ingredients until smooth

It started off nicely, somehow I got the extremely specific water measurements correct
It started off nicely, somehow I got the extremely specific water measurements correct
Straight out of the Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church parish cookbook
Straight out of the Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church parish cookbook
Still on the right track
Still on the right track
Even getting the filling right
Even getting the filling right

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And the fancy fork fluting, man I was on my way
And the fancy fork fluting, man I was on my way

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You'll notice theirs a little disconnect between this and the last picture... I chose not to document  anything in between out of pride.
You’ll notice there’s a little disconnect between this and the last picture… I chose not to document anything in between out of pride.

8 thoughts on “The Pierogi Standard — A post by Molly

  1. Oh God. I think I’m the aunt who brought the dessert pierogies. I have a somewhat repressed memory of a Polish deli on the south side of Milwaukee.

    1. Right you are! They looked beautiful and then we bit into them….sweet ricotta cheese doesn`t necessarily pair well with onions. Hilarious and reminiscent of the time Charlie bit into a wax paper cabdle holder because his grandma told him it was the blessed host.

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