Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yinz better get sim Pierogies n'at.

In case you didn't understand the title, go here.

This site cracks me up. Only because I've heard people talk like that. I went to school in Morgantown for 7 years. Granted, that's not Pittsburgh, but it's a very short 60-ish miles up I-79. The Pittsburghese effect radiates that far.

In fact, the first time I ever had pierogies was in the dining hall in Arnold Hall, my freshman year. I think that might have been the last place I had the, too, come to think of it. At any rate, a few weeks ago, I made some baked potato skins. I had to scoop out some of the insides. I had about 1 1/2 cups of baked potato insides, and I just didn't want to throw it away. So, I froze them and decided down the road to make some pierogies sometime. I couldn't think of anything else to use it for. Next step was finding a pierogie recipe.

In case you're wondering, pierogies are similar to ravioli. Traditionally, they are round with filling made from potatoes and cheese. But the origins are impossible to trace. They have ties to several Eastern European cultures, most notably Poland. In the United States, Pittsburgh is the epicenter of "pierogie-ness."

Fast forward to this week. Pierogies found their way to the rotation.

Here's the recipe I settled on. It's from But I skipped the dough part. I had made fettucini the day before, and had some pasta dough left over. This recipe probably would have yielded a better dough for pierogies, but mine were still tasty.

Pittsburgh Pierogies

2 cups flour, plus more for kneading and rolling dough
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
butter and onions, sliced thinly for serving

Mix the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and softened butter, and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5 to 7 minutes). You can use a food processor or dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or overnight (the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days). Each batch makes about 12 to 15 pierogies.

For the filling:

5 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender. While the potatoes are boiling, saute the onion in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, etc. Let the potato mixture cool and form into 1-inch balls.

Roll the pierogie dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick. Cut circles of dough (2" for small and 3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of the filing on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.

Put the pierogies in a large pot of boiling water, a few at a time. They are done with they float to the top (about 5 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.

Saute sliced onions in butter in a large skillet until soft. Add the pierogies and pan-fry until lightly golden and crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream.

Yinz don't hafta go dahntahn ta git deese pierogies!

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