Even though I should be focusing on Thanksgiving, yesterday I spent three hours making Pierogi for the first time, and froze them to serve for Shabbat after the big day. Having eaten some last week in NYC, they have been on my mind ever since. So after having our fill of food that we have adopted as our own, that Shabbat it is back to Eastern Europe and dinner will include mushroom barley soup, pot roast, and pierogi filled with potatoes and caramelized onions.
Here is what I learned from this experience. Making pierogi is not something to do when you’re in a rush. It requires patience to roll out the dough to the right thickness, it requires patience to allow the onions to caramelize till they are just the right color, and it requires patience to sit and spoon just the right amount of filling on to each round of dough. This kind of cooking is nothing short of an act of love. It’s the kind of cooking my Mom did almost every day, knowing that her food nurtured not only our stomachs but our souls. And so even though this is not exactly Thanksgiving fare, for all that my Mom instilled in me about the importance of good food and feeding those I love, I am so thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!
4 medium sized russet potatoes
1 large onion
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups flour
Approximately 1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tbs pareve margarine or butter
Put flour in a large bowl and make a well in center. Add margarine, egg, salt, and water. Using a fork slowly mix in flour until a dough forms. I added a few more tablespoons of water slowly as needed. Place dough on a board dusted with flour, and knead till dough holds together and texture is smooth. Wrap in saran and let rest for about an hour.
Peel, quarter and boil potatoes till they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Finely chop one large onion and fry in a few tablespoons of canola oil, till dark golden brown. This usually takes about a half hour. Mash potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in caramelized onions and some of the oil from the frying pan as well, and allow to cool. Adjust seasoning.
Cut dough in quarters. Roll sections out, one at a time, till pretty thin, less than 1 /4 inch. Use a small glass to cut out rounds. I used a 2 1/2″ glass. Add small amount of potato filling to each round. Dab your finger in water and pat around one side of the round. Fold dough over and pinch closed with a firm hand! Boil in water till they rise to the surface which only takes a few minutes. I plan to serve these with the drippings from the roast but butter and sour cream is also delicious.