Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to make Christmas Pierogis, part 1

Technically, one should not pluralise 'pierogi', since it's already plural. But pierogis rolls off the tongue so much better. Mind, you will not want these to roll off anywhere except into your belly, because they're absolutely delicious, and in combination with that traditional barszcz which we will soon set boiling, they're the quintessential Polish Christmas Eve meal.

But how do you make them?

To avoid confusion, a small visual guide:

Pierogi comes from an old slavic word meaning stuffed dough. Uszka is literally 'little ears'. Well, just look at them!

The difference is in shape, and in the unbreakable rule which states that while pierogis may be stuffed with anything from potatoes to strawberries, uszka may only ever contain mushrooms as a filling. Anything else? Tortellini. And that's Italian, so none of our business.

The filling should be made at least one day before the dough. It tastes much better if it's left to sit for a while.

Today, we will be making two staple fillings: mushroom, and mushroom-and-sauerkraut.

Pierogi filling:

350 g of dried forest mushrooms (porcino are an excellent choice. Oh, all right, if you must, you can use frozen ones. )
2-3 onions 
2 generous tablespoons of butter
two eggs
2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

All you need to make mushroom filling.

Wash the mushrooms, then heat them up in a small amount of water until they soften. Let them cool, then chop them up. Also chop up the onions. It's okay if the chunks are big, we'll stick the lot into the blender later.

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the onion and braise it. Then, add the mushrooms.


Once the lot has turned a pretty golden-brown, add the eggs. Stir well, season with salt and pepper, and lastly, add the breadcrumbs to thicken.


Let it cool a little bit, then stick it in the blender. Leave some chunks in- it tastes better that way.

Put it in a bowl, smooth it down with a spoon, and when it's cool, stick it in the fridge for the night.

Mushroom filling. Chunky! Crunchy! Yummy!

For the sauerkraut-and-mushroom filling, you pretty much take your mushrooms, and heat them up in a pan with some cooked sauerkraut before blending. Easy peasy!


Sauerkraut and mushroom filling. Notice the sauerkraut-to-mushroom ratio. This is why it is much smoother.

Tune in tomorrow for instructions on how to make the dough and the finished pierogis.

1 comment:

  1. Madzia! Thank you for this recipe! My grandmother (or, more correctly.. probably my grandfather) did not like any pierogi filling other than potato/cheese and prune, so I never learned how to make the other fillings. I've heard so much about the mushroom filling. I'll have to give that a go!
    Thanks again!