HOME MADE SAUERKRAUT PIEROGIS
Sauteed sauerkraut, sweet onion and garlic stuffed into pockets of hand-rolled dough. Boiled till tender, then pan-fried till golden and puffed. Delicate! One of my favorite all-time foods!
1 c. flour (Pillsbury’s Best All-Purpose Flour works best for homemade pierogi dough)
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. cold water
1/2 c. margarine
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 c. diced sweet onion, 3/8 inch squares
22 oz. jar sauerkraut
salt and black pepper
additional salt and black pepper
In large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and water. Stir till well-blended, then knead in bowl till smooth, soft and elastic. You do not want stiff dough; it should feel as soft as the fat on your own flesh. Let set, covered in the bowl, while you make the filling.
In large skillet, over low heat, melt margarine. Add garlic and onion, salt and pepper, then saute till golden browned (don’t let the garlic burn). Take your time with this step so that the onion and garlic have time to soften.
Empty the sauerkraut into a wire mesh strainer or colander. Run under cold water to rinse away much of the acidic brine – a few seconds will do.
Now, using your hands, squeeze the sauerkraut to remove excess water. Do this repeatedly till sauerkraut is fairly dry and sticks together in a ball.
Add sauerkraut to cooked onion, separating the strands with your fingers. Then stir to thoroughly coat with margarine and evenly disperse. Salt and pepper to taste, stir well, then cook on low heat about 5 minutes, stirring often. Do not burn or brown. Remove from heat and set in refrigerator to cool.
Next, turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out till thin. Using a 3 inch cookie or biscuit cutter (measure straight across the cutter to determine its size) cut out 16 circles.
Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center of each circle. Fold bottom part of dough up over filling forming a half-moon. Press around edges, then lift and pinch edges again, fusing the 2 layers of dough together. Do this conscientiously so that the pocket is completely sealed.
Roll out (thinly) remaining dough and form the remaining pierogis.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Place half of the pierogis into the pot at a time. They’ll fall to bottom, then rise to the top and puff up. Boil gently for about 3 minutes, turning each pierogi over gently midway. Lift out with slotted spoon, place in colander and run cold water over them. Place them in a bowl, rub on all sides with a little vegetable oil, then lay them on a plate without overlapping. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use. Repeat with remaining pierogis.
To serve: Melt a couple tablespoons margarine in skillet over medium-low heat. Place pierogis in skillet, edge to edge; do not overlap. Fry on both sides till lightly golden and pierogis puff up.
Salt and pepper to taste and serve. I like mine with a little melted margarine with garlic powder (or fresh garlic) for dunking.
Notes: Do not over-boil the pierogis, they will spit open and become waterlogged.
The secret to making good pierogis is to start with a dough that is soft and pliable. Do not use much flour while rolling and re-rolling dough. It will become too stiff. A light touch is what we want.
I make pierogis for the holidays as the main course. I double the recipe and serve them with a bread stuffing, mashed yams and white potatoes, salad of leafy greens with a nut vinaigrette, whole green beans as a side dish vegetable and cranberry sauce.
This is a delicate dough, not like your store-bought frozen pierogis that need to be thicker to withstand the freezing process. I’ve never frozen these pierogis, since they don’t last long. When I make a lot, we eat them like snacks at room temperature without pan-frying them.