Authentic Perogy’s

Authentic Perogy’s

Pillows of Joy!

A large solid wood table sat in the kitchen with my grandmother’s hand crafted homestead chair and well hued benches which could easily sit a dozen people.

This vast table was used as the main preparation table that all my aunts and us kids sat at while hand prepping the many perogy’s, cabbage rolls, and other cultural delicacies from early homestead recipes. The different yearly holidays meant lots of company to feed.

My Ukrainian mother and Romanian father had 21 siblings between them and about half of my aunts and uncles families would descend on our home to share good memories and pleasantries. I remember the huge amounts of ethnic tidbits my mom and dad would prepare. On the days leading up to the event my dad would cure and smoke a large Ham Shank, Beef Brisket, Kabosa Sausage, Winnipeg Smoked Gold Eye and White Fish. There were a lot of family recipe pickled beets, herring and dill pickles would round off the feast. It was my mom who would get all the monotonous jobs like making cabbage rolls, crepes, latkes and of course hundreds of perogy’s. Perogy’s are still my favorite holiday comfort food and can be packed with several types of fillings. When making these stuffed pillows of joy, one hundred is a good amount to make.

Most all my traditional recipes use pounds, ounces, cups, tablespoon or teaspoons as measurement of volume and weight. This is the way I remember how to make the recipe and that it works out the best.

You need a large work surface to fill and lay your perogy’s out.

I lay out a large sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour to place the perogy’s on while being made.

I keep them covered with a large white cotton towel to keep from drying out.

Set yourself up with all the prepped items and pull up some chairs and have the family members take on the chore of either stuffing and sealing the perogy’s or rolling out and cutting the circles of dough.

Make it a social task; involve the kids, the more hands the faster you get to eat them.

The dough is essential for making a good perogy’s and here is my tried and true recipe.

Ukrainian Perogy’s Dough:

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • flour
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt 1 1/2 cups milk 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream.
  • In a large bowl, sift flour with salt.
  • In a small bowl whisk together milk, sour cream and eggs.
  • Stir into dry ingredients just until soft shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for about 1 minute or just until smooth.
  • Divide into quarters and wrap each in wax paper and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • This recipe makes enough dough for approx. 8 doz. Perogy’s.

Potato and Cheddar Cheese Filling:

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded old Cheddar cheese.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/2 tsp pepper.

First sauté’ the finely chopped onion in the oil until tender and slightly browned. [add a tbs of water to aid in the browning.]

Boil, drain potatoes into a bowl.

Combine with shredded cheese, fried onion, butter, salt and pepper and mash.

Cool completely before use or it will temper the dough and make it hard to stuff.

Substitute the Cheddar Cheese with Dried Cottage Cheese Curds for an original Saskatchewan flavour.

For a Romanian version used pressed dry Sauerkraut and crisp Bacon for the filling.

Fruit fillings like Plum or Sour Cherry mixed with Cottage Cheese make for an interesting twist on flavours.

  • The fillings should all be well chilled.
  • Working with 1 portion of dough at a time and keeping remaining dough covered.
  • Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/16 inch thickness.
  • Using 3 inch round cutter (soup can works great), cut dough into rounds.
  • Place 1 heaping teaspoon filling on each round. Pinch edges together to seal.
  • Some people with experience prefer to make perogy’s in their hand buy adding little meatball size balls of filling, folding and sealing all in one action. Make sure edges are well sealed or they will fall apart during cooking.
  • (If you wish, you could moisten edges of 1/2 dough with water to help it stick together and use a fork to seal.)
  • Repeat with remaining portion of dough.
  • In large pot of low boiling salted water, cook perogy’s in batches for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until they float to top.
  • Stir very gently to prevent perogy’s from sticking together or to bottom of pot.
  • (I use handle of wooden spoon.)
  • With slotted spoon, remove to colander to drain.
  • In a fry pan melt some butter and add the perogy’s then add some fried onions and crisp bacon bits toss and sautéed till golden markings appear then plate with sour cream or plain unsweetened yogurt.
  • Die Borja!
  • thekitchenman.ca