Pierogi (Polish Dumplings)


Pierogi

Ingredients

Pierogi Dough:
8 pounds all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
Nonstick cooking spray

Mashed Potato Filling:
2 pounds red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 stick butter
4 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound soft European farmer’s cheese
Milk to thin, if necessary
Nonstick cooking spray
For the mushroom sauerkraut filling:
4 tablespoons butter (or 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt)
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups sauerkraut
1/4 teaspoon pepper
To Serve:
4 ounces olive oil
Sour cream
1 ounce clarified butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

For the pierogi dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, olive oil, eggs, salt and 2 1/2 cups warm water. Start the mixer on slow for a minute, and then switch to high for another couple of minutes until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Then slow the mixer down to medium speed and slowly add the remaining 1 cup warm water. Once the water is absorbed, return the mixer to high and let the dough beat for 10 minutes.

Remove from the bowl. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Form into balls, spray with nonstick spray, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in a warmer area for 20 minutes.

Spray the counter or large cutting board with the nonstick spray and begin to roll the dough with a rolling pin. Roll until a consistent thickness of 1/4-inch. Then spray with nonstick spray. (If it gets too thin, that’s ok as you can re-ball and roll out again.) Use about a 3-inch circle cutter and press down hard and give a slight twist to completely separate from the rest of the dough, continue this throughout the entire piece.

Remove the scraps and in-betweens, save, re-ball and re-roll. Then flip the circle cut-outs; they are ready to be stuffed.

For the mashed potato filling: Boil the red potatoes, leaving the skin on, in a stock pot with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Once the potatoes are soft, drain off the water and place in the mixer bowl with the dough hook or paddle attachment. Add the butter right away so it will start to melt. Then add the cream cheese, sour cream, granulated garlic, onion powder and black and white peppers into the bowl and mix on a medium speed. Mix until smooth and free of all lumps. Now add the farmer’s cheese and mix on high for a couple minutes until a little fluffy. Season with kosher salt. Loosen with milk if necessary. Let cool.

For the mushroom-sauerkraut filling: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.Before adding the sauerkraut to the pan, give it a squeeze over the sink to get out as much water as you can. It’s important to do this so that your pierogi don’t get all wet. You’ll need to add the sauerkraut to the pan a cup at a time. Add to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, cooking out any excess water. Season with the pepper. The filling shouldn’t look dry (a small amount of water is okay), but you shouldn’t be able to slosh around in it in rain boots.

Assembly:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray (so the delicate dough doesn’t stick. Place about 1 teaspoon of the potato and cheese filling in the center of all the cut-outs. (I like to use a bamboo skewer or large toothpick to remove the filling from the spoon to keep your hands clean.) Then pick up the dough with two hands and fold over the filling. Slightly pull out both sides at the base of the fold, then continue to pull, then pinch, and form and seal as you continue around the half moon. Double check for any areas that aren’t smooth or completely sealed. Repeat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat the process with the mushroom-sauerkraut filling.

In a large saucepan bring three-quarters of a gallon of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a rapid boil. One by one, drop in the pierogis. Par-boil them until they float, about 5 minutes. Then place them back on the baking sheet to let cool.

To serve: Cover the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, saute the pierogis; they should sizzle once they hit the oil. After a minute or so, flip them, looking for a golden brown color. Plate with the sauteed onions and a side of sour cream for dipping. Drizzle with the butter and sprinkle with the parsley. Enjoy!

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