Aaaand, one week later we’re ready for the final pierogi post. Gotta make room for our apple sauce canning post. We went apple picking today and came home with a full bushel of apples (we did buy some, we didn’t pick all that)!
So, for those of you who need catching up, the first part of the pierogi making is detailed over here. The filling was another hybrid recipe. From what I’ve read, everyone makes pierogies differently, usually according to family recipes, and so there are about a bajillion ways to do it. I started with a recipe, did some more research to determine if we should change the quantities for the number of pierogies we had to fill and then added in some cheddar cheese. The final result? Really tasty, but waaaay too much of it! I’ve included a link to the starting point recipe. I’ve done some guessing to try to trim the filling down to a more reasonable amount. (c:
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which, by the way, provides an excellent shortcut to making your own dough.
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (we used about 2 1/2 pounds, oops)
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 to 3/4 cup SHARP cheddar cheese (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
First we boiled the potatoes until they were smashable. You’re essentially making mashed potatoes for the filling, except a little more thick and in our case chunky.
While we were doing that, we took our onions and butter and sauteed them until the onions were nice and brown. We chose to do it slowly so they more caramelize than brown, so it’s probably medium-low to medium depending on your stove.
Grate up some sharp cheddar cheese. Preferably real ‘NY Style’, which, for those of you midwesterners who may not know, means WHITE. NY does not color their cheese orange, so this cheese we bought is actually incorrect in its branding. Not that I’m bitter. Except that I am. Lucky for you, I’ll save the rest of the white cheddar vs. orange cheddar debate for another post though.
Finally, we drained the potatoes and mushed all of the ingredients together. Chris added salt and pepper to taste, and, I’m sure, didn’t steal a few extra spoonfuls to tide him over until the whole thing was done (yeah right).
The next step in the whole process is to portion the dough in half and roll the first piece out until it’s about 15 inches in diameter. I think I probably added a bit too much flour during the process, so be sure to use it sparingly if possible. It takes a bit of work, but since it’s been resting to relax the gluten, it should be able to be gently coaxed into shape.
Once we got it rolled out to approximately 15 inches in diameter, we used the aforementioned Smith College-style glass that was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter to cut out the circles. We found it easier to take the dough around them and leave the circles in place until we filled them.
Next Chris scooped teaspoon sized portions of filling onto each one. In order to seal we actually had to pick them up and stretch them out a bit more. I think using a glass instead of a biscuit cutter caused them to be slightly smaller than we would have liked and a bit squished around the edges. We then wet the edges of the stretched circle and folded them in half. We pressed the edges down to make little half moon pockets and placed them back on parchment lined baking sheets so that they wouldn’t stick together. We did this for the second piece of dough, and I actually managed to roll out the scraps for a few extras. The scraps were a bit of a challenge though, so I’d skip it next time.
To cook, we chose to brown them on both sides in some butter, and then finish them by putting a little water in the pan and covering. Pierogies can also be boiled, which is probably what we’ll do next time instead.
These suckers were a lot of work, but definitely worth it. We got two meals out of the 24 we cooked up this time around. The other 24+ we placed in the freezer on the parchment lined sheet and then transferred to a bag when they were frozen. We’ll have those set and ready to go for an easy meal when we get back from vacation. Not an every day thing, but the leftovers make it worth doing every once in a while.
Bonus Tip: If you’re like us and have a ton of extra filling, it makes excellent potato pancakes. Add an egg to around 2 cups of it and some bread crumbs and brown them on both sides in a griddle.