If you have never heard of a Pierogi, its basically made by wrapping pockets of unleavened dough (basically pasta dough made by mixing water and flour together, sometimes using eggs) around a savory or sweet filling and cooking them in boiling water, much like a ravioli or dumpling. Its a popular dish in Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia, and typically filled with potato, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, and fruits. It can be a very versatile dish, which lends it self well to creativity. While I (nor my family) come from any of those backgrounds, I grew up in Upstate NY, where there was an area that had a larger Polish population, and we could get these pretty easily… or store bought in the freezer section (Mrs. T’s!!) however, fresh is best.
For these I went pretty traditional, using a mashed potato and cheese filling, which is my personal favorite pierogi filling. Traditionally it would call for a “farmers cheese”… I just used cream cheese, and it was delicious… so I went with it. Then I sliced up some Jalapeno & Cheese Venison Kielbasa Sausage (which you could use any kind you like, its just what I had around) to go along with it. Growing up we always had regular “Polish Kielbasa”, which I believe was made from pork, to go with our Pierogies, and either sauerkraut or fried/caramelized onions and sour cream. The flavors are so good, and it had been SO LONG since I’ve had them, especially scratch made, that I had to make my own. Plus my wife has never had them, so it was her introduction to the Gloriousness that is Pierogies. Here’s a good link to show basics on how to make a pierogi (dough and a filling), then from there you can get more creative: Pierogi Basics
Just a FYI, my filling was around 3 medium sized potatoes (peeled), cooked up and mashed with half a stick of butter, and block of cream cheese (with salt/pepper to taste) and it was AMAZING tasting, so basically, add a bunch of fat and cheese to the potatoes and they’ll be great. And be sure they’re cooled off and set up/stiff before adding them inside the dough.
I’ve also been trying to implement more probiotic rich foods into my diet, so I used my homemade Lacto-Fermented purple cabbage sauerkraut as a condiment to go along with my dish, along with traditional sour cream, and chives to garnish. I’m telling you, they’re so good, You should give them a try sometime!