Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Mama's Pierogi

I've had several requests for this and since I made it not too long ago, I thought I'd post the recipe. I do it by memory, so you may need to play with the measurements, considering I haven't actually used the recipe in 15 years or more.

I won't lie, this recipe is the biggest pain in the ass to make, but it's SO worth it. I remember my mother enlisting the help of friends and family whenever she made them. Her motto was "If you wanna eat 'em, you help make 'em" and after having made a couple hundred of these on New Year's Day for my family, I can see why she bargained with us.

8-10 potatoes - peeled, cut & boiled
2 c - shredded mild cheddar cheese
½ c - butter
½ c - milk (I use evaporated milk, but you can use regular milk)

Combine all and mash together. Put in fridge to chill while making noodle dough.

Dough (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook)
7 c all-purpose flour
1 c water
6 eggs
1½ tsp salt
1 T vegetable or olive oil

Stir together 6 c of flour in a large mixing bowl with the salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, water and oil. Add to the flour mixture and mix well.
Sprinkle the kneading surface with the remaining flour. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes total - hope you've done your bicep training at the gym!!). Cover and let rest for about 10 mins.
Divide dough into fourths. On a lightly floured surface, roll each fourth into a 12x12" square about 1/16" thick. Let stand 20 minutes, then using a wide rimmed glass or a biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles.
 (You may need to double this recipe. I can't remember if it's matched evenly for the amount of potatoes that are made.)

Use about 1T of potato filling for each pierogi and seal the dough shut into a half-moon shape. Make sure to pinch the air out of each pocket or they will burst during cooking. Let the pierogi dry 30-60 minutes.

Boil pierogi in batches in lightly salted water 5-7 minutes until all of it has been cooked. (At this point, you can freeze what you think you may not use to serve at a later date. Let them cool and dry completely before putting in freezer storage bags.) You can serve these hot pierogi with melted butter and sauteed onions.

In my family however, we decided generations ago that boiled dough filled with starchy, cheesy potatoes just wasn't enough calories, so we proceed at this point to lightly fry our pierogi in oil until golden brown. Then, of course, being the cholesterol junkies we are, we serve with butter, salt & pepper.

** To avoid having pierogi break open during cooking, purge all the air out of them before you seal them shut and make sure the dough is thick so it doesn't tear during construction of the pierogi.

1 comment:

  1. Just made it the other day. I have tried different egg noodle dough recipes over the years. Listen to this: Helpers Stephanie Kunkel, Genna Kunkel, Doug Z, Kevin Kingery About 18 lbs potatoes, 2 lbs cheddar cheese, about 10 lbs cabbage, 5 lbs onions, 15 lbs flour, 52 eggs, lots of milk.... and gallons and gallons of water to cook them..... 7 hours of labor for 4 people and pirogie is done. About 450 of them.

    That was from my facebook status the other day. Yes folks... it is a LOT of work.. but as my friends ALSO said..... DEFINITELY WORTH IT!!! These are two kinds in my comment... not all in the SAME pirogies!!!! That would be simply GROSS!!

    Our Polish heritage coming out!!! I had made my fillings the day before so they were cool and so I wasn't TOTALLY exhausted.

    Thanks for putting these things on here sis. Do you have mom's Spanish Noodle recipe?? Will have to text you for this part!!