I have long been too intimidated to make egg dough. I’d never heard anyone I personally knew talk about making it, so I thought it must be difficult. However, after making pierogi from scratch, I have overcome my fear of egg dough and I am eager to learn more fresh pasta recipes. These pierogi turned out to be delicious and the lemon-and-chive sour cream sauce was divine. Our friend who was over for the meal said that the sauce was so good, he could drink it. I deviated only slightly from the recipe I found in Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food and, in the book (a beautiful book, by the way), it states that the recipe for vegetable pierogi dates back to the thirteenth century. For hundreds of years, it has been a Christmas Eve tradition in Poland. Indeed, it is something that takes a little extra planning and care to make—it isn’t really something to try for the first time on a week-night after work—but it is well worth the effort. Also, now that I have made it once, I am sure that it is the sort of thing that will be faster to make the second time around, with the confidence of experience.

At first, potatoes with pasta might seem like starch overkill. Yet, the contrast of textures works so well to create a satisfying morsel. They were incredibly delicious! I plan to make them again for Christmas Eve.

Pierogi

Polish Pierogi

Adapted from Polish Pierogi from Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver

  • Yield: 8–10 servings
  • 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Filling:
  • ¼ of a green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
  • white pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 1 bunch of fresh chives
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. To prepare the dough, beat the eggs with ⅔ cup of sour cream. Sift in flour, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix until the dough comes together. Knead on a flour-dusted surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  2. Grate the cabbage into a bowl. Mix wit the vinegar and a pinch of salt and set aside.
  3. Peel the potatoes, roughly chop, and boil in salted water for 10–12 minutes, or until tender. Drain and steam dry.
  4. Put the caraway seeds into a cold frying pan, over medium-low heat, and toast as you peel and finely chop the onions.
  5. Add a glug of olive oil and the onions to the frying pan. Cook the onions until lightly golden, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the cabbage and a tablespoon of butter and cook for several minutes. Then mash in the potatoes.
  7. Coarsely grate in the cheese and sprinkle with white pepper. Mix.
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Set the vegetable filling aside to cool.
  9. For the sauce, finely chop the chives and mix with 1 cup of sour cream, juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. Place in the fridge.
  10. On a flour-dusted surface, divide the dough in half. Individually, roll each half out to 1/16″ thick, dusting with flour as you go. Cut out circles with a 3″ cutter (or larger—a range of sizes will work).
  11. Place a pastry circle in your hand and spoon the filling in in the middle. Gently fold in half and pinch closed completely. (This was my favorite part of the process! Working with the dough is like working with clay and the repetitive process was relaxing.) Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  12. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook a few pierogi at a time, for about 4 minutes per batch. They will rise to the surface when they are done.
  13. Carefully scoop them out with a large spoon and place them into a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of foaming butter (more, as needed). Fry until golden on one side.
  14. Serve on top of the chive sour cream sauce and garnish with chives. So good!

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