Monday, March 21, 2011

Sauerkraut Pierogis

Sauerkraut Pierogis
Makes 30 pierogis
Every country has its own version of a dumpling,  basically cooked balls of dough made of flour, potatoes, bread or matzoh containing meats, seafood, vegetables or sweets.  The Italians lay claim to  ravioli , the Chinese to potstickers, Indians to Somosas, and the Polish to Pierogis.  There are probably as many different recipes for Pierogis as there are Polish families, this recipe is my (Italian) interpretation.  A genuine Polish friend of mine says  the only way to eat Pierogis is lightly fried in bacon grease  and topped with bacon crumbles, and  golden, caramelized onions "Co jest nie tak!" (What's not to like!)  . . .  Enjoy!


 2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 teaspoon butter, softened
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
 1/2 cup warm water


   1 1/4 pounds medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered and boiled in heavily salted water until fork tender
   1 teaspoons butter
   1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
   1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
   1/4 teaspoon salt
   1/4 teaspoon black pepper
   1 medium yellow onion, grated


   1 sticks butter, browned or clarified

The dough:

1.  In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sour cream, beaten egg, butter, water, and milk. With your hands mix together until dough forms a ball. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth. You may add a little more flour if necessary to make the dough pliable. 

2.  Divide dough into fourths. Put the pieces under a damp cloth, so it won't dry out. Roll the first piece to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness and using a 3-inch cookie cutter or a glass with a 3-inch rim cut out as many 3-inch “pierogi rounds” as possible. Put pierogi rounds under damp cloth while cutting the rest. 

 The filling:

1.   Drain the cooked potatoes and place in a large bowl.   Mash (or run through a ricer) the  hot, cooked potatoes. 

2.  Place the drained sauerkraut and the grated onion on a dry, clean kitchen towel, roll towel into a long cylinder squeezing out any excess liquid, remove from towel to a chopping board and roughly chop.  Add the chopped sauerkraut/onion to the hot mashed potatoes along with the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and mix to thoroughly distribute the ingredients. The consistency of the mixture should be a little thicker than mashed potatoes.   You may add a little  milk if the mixture is too thick.  Allow filling to cool before proceeding to assembly.

Assembly of the pierogis:

1.  For each pierogi, place a scant 1 tablespoon of potato/sauerkraut/cheese mixture in the center of the dough circle. Fold over to form a half circle. Seal edges by pinching together with your fingers. Then take a fork and press all along the edges.  Place formed pierogi on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining  pierogi rounds and filling. 

Cooking the pierogis:

1.  Fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a boil. Drop 5 or 6 pierogis in at a time. Cook each batch for about 1 minute, the pierogi are done when they float to the top.

2.  When they float to the top, remove from pot with a slotted spoons,  place in a colander to drain.  Add the next batch of 5 or 6 pierogis.  Continue in this manner until all the pierogis have been boiled.

Serving the pierogis:

1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt and brown the butter and add the finely chopped onion. Cook the butter until it browns and the finely chopped onions are softened.

2. Coat a serving platter with 1/2 the browned butter, arrange the Pierogi on the platter, drizzle the remaining brown butter over them and season with coarse Kosher or sea salt. Serve hot.

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