When I first read this challenge I was a bit nervous, I had never actually had the pleasure of eating a pierogi. As I began to read more I realized a pierogi was basically a dumpling, or something very similar to what we Argentinians call, empanadas (only a pierogi is boiled, not baked). Well I know how to make empanadas, I've been making them for over 20 years now, so I thought this challenge would be a breeze. I was wrong, the filling I created turned out delicious and was easy to make, but my pierogi dough was a little thick and didn't seem like a dumpling dough at all. This challenge was a bit challenging for me, but I had fun and my pierogi eventually turned out great (well my second batch did), but I will definitely keep practicing my pierogi making skills!
Sausage & Walnut Sage Pesto Pierogi
(by Anula's Kitchen)
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About 1 cup lukewarm water
Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm at a time (in my situation 1/2 cup was enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or about 3 millimeters) cut with a 2-inch (5 cm) round or glass (personally I used 4-inch/10 cm cutter as it makes nice size pierogi - this way I got around 30 of them and 1 full, heaped teaspoon of filling is perfect for that size). Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi, not too many, only single layer in the pan! Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more ( usually about 5 minutes). Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining pierogi from the water.
Serve immediately preferably with creme fraiche or fry. Cold pierogi can be fried. Boiled Russian pierogi can be easily frozen and boiled taken out straight from the freezer.
- 1 cup packed fresh sage leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package (1lb) pork Bratwurst, casings removed