A Russian man and a Ukrainian girl fall in love... Both cultures have the "Perogie" Long story short they have a couple kids, grab her parents and move to Canada because there is a world war. Then the boy (who had to learn like seven languages to walk across Europe) finds a nice Canadian/Icelandic/Scottish/Irish girl and they start making babies. Those babies were raised on the heart attack inducing Perogie that only a Russian/Ukrainian/Canadian/Icelandic/Scottish/Irish potato loving union in post war Canada could provide. My Mother quite literally followed my Great Grandmother around and measured everything she pulled out of the cupboards, every handful of flour, the salt, she timed it and took note of what kind of oil, what kind of potato, what kind of onion... These are the Perogies that I make to this very day. It would not surprise me to learn this recipe is hundreds of years old. You will love these. And if you make them as often as you want to eat them you will cut twenty years off your life. But all things in moderation right? These are comfort food in the extreme. In fact my very first memory is me getting out of bed in the middle of the night and walking next door to my Old Baba's house. I reached over the gate and unlatched it. I was on my tip toes but the gate was maybe two feet tall. I rang the bell and asked for "Varenyky? Moloko?" She smiled and made me Perogies from scratch as I drank milk in her wonderful kitchen with herbs drying on strings above me. A couple hours later my very freaked out parents came and got me. Anyway... enough of that. Let's get fat and happy!
Step 1: The Dough.
Use dry measuring cups for the Flour and liquid measuring cups for the Water
4 Cups sifted white all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon iodized table salt
1 + 1/2 Cups water
1 Large Egg
Yes I know it seems crazy simple but read on.
Mix the Salt and Flour.
Add the Egg to the Water and mix them.
Now add the Liquid to the Dry ingredients.
Step 2: Mix.
Start with a fork but you're gonna have to get your hands into it. I use gloves because it is very sticky and I don't want anyone finding knuckle hair in their food. Just make sure you wash your gloved hands with soap and water before you start mixing to get rid of any rubbery tasting talcum powder. While kneading you will add 1/2 to 3/4 cups more flour to this! This will vary depending on your surroundings, the size of your egg and the moisture content of your flour. Kneed it till it doesn't stick to you and feels firm. About ten minutes. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and set it aside for at least an hour. I have tried using it early but it makes a tough perogie. Firm is what we are after here not tough. This needs time for the gluten to relax. Go make some filling.
Step 3: Cook a Pound of Bacon.
"A pound? Really?"
I know it seems like a lot but most of that is fat that will cook off.
Remember to save the bacon fat to cook the onions, sauerkraut and perogies in later. Told you this would kill you young!
Step 4: Fillings.
Drained Bick's Wine Sauerkraut fried in Safflo Sunflower oil, salted butter and bacon fat (this is Ukrainian vegetarian) add salt and pepper to taste. fry them till they start to dry out and begin to become brown.
Fry the yellow onions the same way. You will need at least three large onions. These are added to the potato filling and used as a garnish. I recommend swim goggles cutting onions. These things are brutal. Fry them till golden brown and caramelized.
Drain some cottage cheese. You just add some salt and pepper to taste.
By the way you also need to peel, cube and boil in salted water at least three large red potatoes. Not the brown ones those are too mealy and crumbly, use red potatoes. Mash them with a little milk when done.
Right about now everyone who lives near you will be thinking up excuses to drop by to see what you are cooking.
Step 5: Side Note.
No point dieting here. Go for fresh and high fat.
Step 6: Mix.
Mix up half of the cooked bacon, half the cooked onion and the mashed red potatoes. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Fold it. Do not stir.
Step 7: Boob.
At this point your dough has been resting about an hour on the counter. It should feel like a nice firm boob. You can throw everything in the fridge and take a rest at this point or carry on. You can even put it off till tomorrow if you like.
Step 8: Get Cozy.
Fire up the TV and get cozy. This is gonna take a while. Punch down your dough and get a cutting board. Flour up the board. Start boiling a pot of salted water now too.
Step 9: Roll and Cut.
I cut chunks of dough the size of a walnut. I've also tried making huge perogies but I prefer normal ones.
Step 10: Roll Flat.
I use an old coffee cup from my Grandfather's house. It just seems right.
Step 11: Fill.
Add a walnut sized chunk of whatever. You can use the cottage cheese, the potato and bacon or potato and cheese, the sauerkraut. Whatever. I have even seen them with cherries and sugar inside as a desert.
Step 12: Fold.
Pinch the edges together. Keep the filling off the edges that will meet so they stick.
Step 13: Boil.
Throw them in. Tip first so they don't splash you. Stir the pot so they don't stick to the pot or their brethren.
Step 14: They Float!
After they float they are done. You could eat them at this point but really? We already went down the rabbit hole we might as well stick around for tea!
Step 15: Fry!
Safflo sunflower oil, bacon fat and salted butter.
Honestly it just doesn't get better than this.
Step 16: The Cook's Privilege
The first one is always mine!
Step 17: Repeat.
Just make a whole bunch! I usually double the recipe but it's a lot of work. If you're just starting only make one type of filling. You can freeze the extra but I really doubt there will be leftovers. I put mine in a roaster with the last of the fried bacon, onions, some oil and some butter. My family ends up going thru them all in about a day and a half. Serve with sour cream. I hope you find this useful.
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