Perogi, Pyrogy, Pierogi, Perogy
It doesn’t matter how you spell it they all taste the same. Yummy! This was the first time that we had completed the entire perogy making process ourselves (without the assistance of mama Knight) and we have to say they turned out really well. We had seen every step done more than once (many more times for Tara by both her mom and her baba – we are both Ukrainian) and we had pitched in many times but never without supervision. We managed to do it all in five and a half hours (split into two days) and did not want to kill each other. So below is a step by step guide to making your own perogies (in two parts – day one and day two). If we can do this so can you.
You can make the dough a week or two ahead of time. It is actually better if you do and put it in the freezer. It makes the dough combine better together and it is easier to work with. This was the part that we are most afraid of because usually mom comes to visit with the dough already pre-made, frozen and in her suitcase to thaw on the trip in from Winnipeg.
6 cups flour
½ lb. butter
3 tbsp sour cream combined with one and a ½ cups of water
Break eggs into water mixture and whisk. In a separate bowl cut butter into flour. Add all of the liquid and mix with a large serving fork. Form into a ball with your hands and work the rest of the flour in that is at the bottom of the bowl. Put on a floured counter and knead until smooth but not too much. Wrap in saran wrap tightly and put into a plastic bag in the freezer. The recipe is for about 8 or 9 dozen medium sized perogies. This time we made 102.
**Take the dough out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge 48 hours ahead. It takes a long time.
The Night Before
Mom K. has always made the filling the night before. That way you can clean up the mess before making an even bigger one and you don’t need a full 5 or 6 hours at once. For filling we make potato with cheddar and sauerkraut. The potato and cheddar filling has a small amount of bacon and onion in it for flavor and the sauerkraut has a bit of mashed potato in it to make it sticky and easier to work with. We top both kinds with a mixture of fried bacon and onion to serve.
Topping – one pound bacon, one medium onion. Chop bacon and onion into very small squares and fry until golden but not crispy. It is best to fry bacon about half way and then add the onion. Scoop out two table spoons of the bacon mixture with as little grease as possible then pour the rest (with the bacon grease) into a container and refrigerate.
Potato Filling – Peel and boil a five pound bag of potatoes (mom says red potatoes are best). Mash the potatoes with ¾ of a large (900 g) brick of old cheddar cheese. The key here is the ‘old’ if you want the cheddar flavor to stand out in the potato. Once mashed mix in the two tablespoons of bacon and onion and add some salt and pepper. Let the pot stand on the stove over night. This will make enough to fill the whole batch of perogies. Make sure before you start that you do in fact have a masher. We forgot that ours broke last time we made perogies with mom here so had to knock on three of our neighbors doors to get one (Thanks #1203).
If you are using sauerkraut for some of the filling fry a small can and reserve two tablespoons of mashed potatoes before adding the cheese and bacon. Mix two scoops of potato with the sauerkraut so that it sticks together. Let stand on the stove overnight as well.
I am not a big fan of leaving food to stand on the stove overnight but this is how my mom does it, and my baba did it before her so what the hell. Have a drink and relax before the real work starts in the next morning.