Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.17.2009

The Art of Pierogi-Making

I love learning about my heritage! I have also enjoyed seeing the heritage of all of you as you voted on our poll (see the results to the side). My heritage is primarily German, Polish, and Scottish, but I love the Polish traditions. For as long as I can remember, I have learned them from my German "Bobcha" (Great-grandma), who is really more like a Pole because she married a Polish man, lived in Poland for years, and now can't speak German--only Polish. I have memories of when I was six and she and Grandma came over to our house on a mission--to make pierogi. You must understand the seriousness of such an endeavor before I actually tell you what a pierogi is. Your pierogi must be just the right size. The dough must be just the right thickness, and the filling perfect. Most importantly, your pierogi must never disintegrate during boiling. If it should do this, your only hope is to slink quietly away and destroy the evidence. If you are so brave as to bring your pierogi to a family gathering, you must be prepared for examination and criticism of every facet of your pierogi. I cannot tell you precisely where tradition crosses over to obsession, but I think our family must be getting close.
So what are pierogies?
Technically, pierogi are the most delicious food ever invented. As for the details, it might be called a dumpling, made out of a noodle-like dough and shaped in a semi-circle. You stuff it with any number of fillings, our family's personal favorite being saurkraut and bacon. It is then boiled and often fried, and topped with butter (lots!) and salt and pepper. It is a Slavic food, with Belarusians, Russians, Ukranians, Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, and Latvians all enjoying it as part of their heritage. However, it is the same idea as the Italian ravioli or the Chinese wonton. Making pierogies is a long process, which I will share with you in this slideshow!


At the end of the day, we made 256 pierogies, including saurkraut and bacon, mashed potato, and cherry. We also made too many kluski (finger noodles) to count out of the leftover dough. So now our freezer's full, our craving is satisfied, and our pinching is perfected! It was a good day!
Pierogi recipe
Dough:
3 lbs. flour (about 12 cups)
3 eggs
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups water
Knead and knead to a very thick dough. Cover and let sit about 45 minutes.

Filling:

About 2 gallons saurkraut
2 lbs. bacon
Rinse the saurkraut out until it has only a hint of sourness, and then boil it with water, salt, and four bay leaves for one hour. When this is done, squeeze and squeeze the saurkraut until there is absolutely no liquid left. Mix in the fried bacon and some of the bacon drippings. Add plenty of salt and pepper.
Preparation: Roll out a small portion of the dough very thinly (perhaps 1/8 inch) and cut into circles with a cup. Roll each of these circles a little bit thinner. Put a spoonful of filling in the center, fold the dough over, and seal the edges by pinching them. Put on a floured pan and freeze. To serve, boil water and drop the perogies in. When the float to the top, remove them and either eat them as they are or fry them in butter.
This should make about 90 pierogies.
Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Lauren,

    I'm sorry but just saw your message about Ref. 71. Have you had a chance to sign it yet? I can out a ref in the mail to you asap or arrange for another way for you to sign. Please contact me. My email is lvanwerven@verizon.net

    Luanne

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  2. Mmmm...,Lauren, you made my mouth water with your "delicious" post. Looks like it was a fun endeavor for the whole family. Maybe you should open a restaurant. ; )
    I'm curious though, were these for a special occasion or do you do this to stock the freezer?
    Thanks for the fun post! : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mmmmm....Lauren, you made my mouth water with your "delicious" post. Looks like it was a fun day for the whole family. Maybe you should open a pierogi restaurant. : )
    I'm curious, though, did you make them for a special occasion?
    Thanks for sharing this fun post - and the slideshow was great, too. : )

    ReplyDelete
  4. Luanne, Thank you, I'll get in touch!
    Ruthie--maybe you'll have to make pierogies!(-;
    Have you ever had them before? I have actually thought that someone should do a dumpling sort of restaurant...maybe in my spare time! No, we've often made them for occasions (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) but this time, our freezer is full to the brim!

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