> Lemon and Strawberries: Pierogi with sauerkraut and mushrooms (Polish Christmas food #2)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pierogi with sauerkraut and mushrooms (Polish Christmas food #2)


As I mentioned some time ago, pierogi are one of the most popular and characteristic Polish dishes and come in many tastes and variations (like "ruskie" with cottage cheese and potatoes). The ones I'm presenting today are a traditional Christmas version - stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms.
Of course you can make them anytime you want, but it's something else if you wait a whole year to make them  - just for Christmas Eve's dinner!
This is my second Polish recipe for Christmas (first is here if you want to check: fish a'la greek) and there will be more. Hopefully I can make it all before Christmas!

INGREDIENTS (for about 40 pieces, depending on a size):
  • 300-350g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 - 1 glass warm water
  • 1tsp salt 
  • 250g sauerkraut
  • 200g dried wild mushrooms - preferably boletus 
  • OR 250g fresh mushrooms if you don't have an access to dried ones
  • 1 onion
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few allspice seeds
  • 1-2 tbs oil for frying
First prepare filling, as it will need to cool down. I like this type of stuffing to be a little bit on a sour side, so I don't wash sauerkraut, but if it's too much for your taste you can wash it on a strainer with cold water to remove some of  the acid. Put it in a pot, add dried mushrooms and pour enough water to cover everything. Add a little bit of salt, bay leaves and allspice. Cook for about 30 minutes or until both mushrooms and sauerkraut are soft.
Strain the excess water and set aside to cool down. When it's cold, cut sauerkraut and mushrooms in small pieces, add salt and pepper to taste. On a pan with some oil fry finely chopped onion and mix it with the rest of your filling.*

*If you're using fresh mushrooms, then cook sauerkraut with spices, as described above. Mushrooms cut into small pieces and fry them with the onion, then mix with cool sauerkraut.
Prepare the dough for pierogi. Mix flour, egg, salt and water into a dough using your hands or mixer with a hook tip. Knead it for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth, flexible and doesn't stick to your fingers. If you feel it's too hard, add a little bit of water and if it's too sticky - a little bit of flour. Consistency of your dough should be like Play-Doh. Cover it with a cloth to prevent from drying and set aside.
Set a big pot of water with some salt to boil and prepare another one with cold water. 
Sprinkle a flat surface with some flour and using rolling pin (or a glass bottle - it works too!) roll your dough flat to about 2mm thickness. Usually I do it in batches, because this type of dough likes to dry up and I'm simply not fast enough! 
Using a glass, round cookie cutter or anything like that start cutting circles.

Next, take a circle of a dough, put 1-2 tsp of filling in the middle of it and stick the edges together strating from a middle and then going both sides. I like to make the edges "pretty" by folding and twisting them, but you can keep them flat or use a fork to create a pattern. Make sure there is no air inside your dumplings, as it may pop a hole while being cooked.

If you're not sure how to do it, here's my little video tutorial:

Throw pierogi into a boiling water - one by one. It's best to do it in batches of 5 - 10 at the time. Gently stir to make sure they didn't stick together or to the bottom of your pot. Cook until they come to the surface and then 1-2 minutes more (about 5-7 minutes total).  
Using a slotted spoon take your pierogi out and dump them for a moment into your other pot filled with cold water. Take them out, sprinkle with a little bit of oil or brush with melted butter to prevent sticking. 
Serve them warm - with some fried onion, finely chopped chives or if you're going for truly Polish Christmas taste - with mushroom sauce. 

Bon appetite!
Little tip: I prepare these pierogi ahead of time, so I don't have to rush with everything for Christmas Eve and I deep freeze them. Then I defrost them and fry on a pan - they're delicious this way, crunchy outside, soft inside and topped with a mushroom sauce!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! One of my favourites! So pleased to have found your lovely blog. You can check out a few of my recipes over here: http://detoutcoeurlimousin.blogspot.fr/ Look forward to saying hello :)