Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bryski Pierogi


You guys, I have a Saturday treat for you! My friend Judy, a stylist in Jacksonville, FL, was kind enough to document her family's pierogi process. I've never made them and I've wanted to, so I'm grateful to Judy for writing it down and photographing it.

As a girl, Judy always helped her Grandmom and Mom (Mom is with Judy above) make pierogi (fun fact: pierogi is the plural) but never paid attention to the recipe. Her Grandmom died and her Mom couldn't remember how to tell me to make them. Judy's client gave her a Polish cookbook about 30 years ago and she recognized the ingredients. Judy and her daughter Meg have since played with the recipe and finally came up with this one that is like a taste of her childhood.

The moral of this story: write your recipes down! Thanks for sharing a piece of your family and heritage Judy!

INGREDIENTS
Filling
About 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, cut and boiled in salted water
1/2 C sour cream
1 C cottage cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
sauteed onions (1/2 small diced onion sauteed in 3 TBS melted butter)

Dough
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg (beaten, room temp)
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C butter (chopped, room temp)

For Frying
2 sticks butter
4 C thinly sliced onions

DIRECTIONS
1. Peel, cut & boil potatoes in salted water. Let them cool and dry out a little.
2. While potatoes are boiling, chop onion & saute in melted butter.
3. Let them caramelize slightly.
4. To potatoes, add sour cream, cottage cheese, s/p and sauteed onions.  Mash with a potato masher until smoothly lumpy.

At this point, you can cover and refrigerate if prepping ahead.

Get one of these to make this fun and easy. The circle cutter/sealer is also a great idea. If you don't have a cutter, a round glass will work (please, not the wine glass) .

1.Mix together flour & salt, adding beaten egg.
2. Add cottage cheese, sour cream & chopped butter. (Fig 6)
3. Combine, then knead with hands, until smooth. You can use a mixer with a dough hook, but do NOT mix too long as you end up producing shoe leather. Trust me..I speak from ugly experience. Use your hands. (Fig 7)
3. Cover and refrigerate 1/2 hour.

THE WHOLE PROCESS
1. While dough is chillin' out, you can thinly slice 4 onions and put aside.
2. Start boiling water in a HUGE pot.
3. Take dough out of fridge, cut a section and roll out on a floured surface.
4. Cut circles with your handy dandy cutter or round glass, doing 4-5 at a time.
5. Roll each circle to an oblong shape.
6. Plot some filling like so. I use a small melon ball scooper.
7. Fold the dough over and seal. My cutter has innards that will seal, but you can pinch with fingers or use tines of a fork, like you do a pie. Please sure you seal completely or it's an ugly mess. Been there.
8. Make all pierogi while water gets to a boil. I salt my water as well.
9. Drop 3-4 at at time and when they rise to the top, remove with slotted spoon.
10. Drain on paper towels. This when I give you permission to use paper towels instead of cloth. Cloth ones can leave threads or knubbies in the dough..not good.
11. Melt about half stick of butter and dump in a handful of onions in a large pan. when onions soften, begin adding pierogi. Flip when a little toasty. Continue adding butter and onions as you cook pierogi as necessary.
12. Eat. We were a ketchup family, much to Grandmom Bryski's dismay. As I got older, I fell in love with the Polish addition of sour cream. My sister was a ketchup freak and I think she started that.

You can use all kinds of fillings and adjust this recipe as you like. My grandmother filled with cooked sauerkraut she made herself in her terracotta crock. This recipe can be dessert or a meal.

MFD loves the pierogi so I'm going to have to make these ASAP. They look much better than Mrs. T's, no? I'm thinking of making a big batch and flash freezing them so we have them on hand.

If you have a beloved family recipe you'd like to share, please get in touch with me!

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13 comments:

  1. My grandma's parents were Slovak immigrants (as is most of PA) and even she insisted on Mrs. T's at holiday gatherings. Said they were just as good, if not better than what her mother made lol.

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  2. I looooove Pierogis! Nothing better than the real deal... definitely going to be making these!

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  3. Wow. I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Yum, those look amazing. I didn't grow up eating pierogis, but the rare times I've had homemade ones, they were awesome. They reminded me of a family recipe that I shared recently, only because of the common ingredient of sour cream. http://www.missouriwomenbloggers.com/2013/12/13/foodie-friday-grandmas-christmas-tree-cookies/

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  5. These look amazing. I haven't have a Pierogi in a long time. Will be saving this recipe for sure.

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  6. This looks amazing. And a lot of work!

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  7. KETCHUP. Blasphemy. I have no excuse not to make these now and make my polish family proud!! Thank you, love!

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  8. I've never even heard of these before, but it sounds so yummy. Thanks for sharing!! PS - it looks like a potsticker!

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  9. OMGSH. I love pierogi. will you be my personal chef?

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  10. Yay Judy from Jax! I am in Jax, and definitely need to learn how to make more polish food. My fiancé is polish, and I am fairly certain that amazing recipes like this will make him happy. I am making his fav dish right now!

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  11. I am drooling over these, and they are NOT on my diet!

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  12. Yay Judy! I'd have to substitute something for the cottage cheese (just can't handle it) but I LOVE pierogi, especially with carmelized onions and sour cream.

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