Stanley P. Kachowski reminds you that pierogies are good food*

October 26, 2009

I am of the opinion that pierogies are best enjoyed while watching Steelers football. In the offseason, you can also have them at your grandma's house for a holiday, accompanied by the obscure Slovak food of your choice. (I choose babalki!) Or, if you happen to find yourself at a Pirates game, you can order them right at the concession stand. (In trying to keep at least 1,000 people in attendance, the Pittsburgh Pirates even have a mid-inning event where humans dressed as pierogies race down the field. Check out this video where a pierogie tackles Teddy Roosevelt, a racer in the Washington Nationals mid-inning President's Race.)

Imagine my surprise, then, when I came across this article advocating the consumption of pierogies DURING a triathlon. Not as a spectator, but as a competitor! Um, that is insane. I've competed in a couple of races (and by that I mean I thumped along like a maimed hyena stuck with a tranquelizer dart), and I can't imagine eating a pierogie on the run. I mean, is there someone running alongside holding a small container of sour cream for dipping? Would you just wipe your buttery hands on your shorts? The logistics alone boggle me.

In summary, pierogies are good to eat while watching sports, good to dress up as while playing sports, and also good to shove in your pocket for snacks while playing sports.

Makes about 45

Dough, from Gourmet Magazine

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cake flour
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

Put the flour and cake flour in a bowl and stir with a fork to combine.

Make a well in the center, and drop in the eggs, salt and water. Stir the wet ingredients together first (with the fork), and then start to add in the flour mixture gradually. Once it is a loose dough, dump it out onto a clean dry surface (including all the flour and dough bits in the bowl) and start to knead it together. Knead for 8 minutes until soft and elasticy, or until you're exhausted and need a beer. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.


2 russet potatoes
7 oz. sharp white cheddar, shredded (Vermont makes the best cheddar!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 small green onions
1/4 cup sour cream

To serve

Stick of butter
1 large yellow onion
Sour cream

Peel the potatoes and chop into 2 inch chunks. Put in a pan, and cover with cold water. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil until just tender with a fork (about 8 minutes). Put in a bowl with the cheese, salt, pepper, onions and sour cream. Mash with a potato masher, or whip with a handheld mixer.

Cheating variation: Have 2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes? Add cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

Cut the dough in half and keep half in the plastic wrap. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Roll it very thin - about an 1/8 inch. Using a round cutter about 2 -3 inches wide, cut out circles of dough. (I used my brother's wine aerator, as we were at the beach in a limited kitchen, but a can or biscuit cutter is probably a more conventional choice. Man, he was mad when he found out I touched his wine toys.)

Get a little bowl of cold water ready for moistening the edges of your pierogies.

Take about a teaspoon of filling and drop it in the middle of your dough rounds. Dip your finger in your water bowl and wet the outside edges of the dough round. Stretch and fold it over to make a half moon, and smush the dough together to seal it shut. Set the finished pierogie aside on a floured cookie sheet. Repeat as necessary. I re-rolled my dough scraps once, but after that they tend to get really tough.

To save some or all of your pierogies for later, you can put the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple hours, and once they get good and frozen, put them in a freezer bag.

To serve, bring a big pot of water to a boil, and cook the fresh or frozen pierogie for 5-6 minutes until mostly tender.

Melt half a stick of butter in a heavy skillet. Add half the onion, and let the onion get a little browned. Push the onion to the side, and add just as many pierogie as fit in a non-crowded manner. Let them get golden brown, then flip to the other side. Repeat with the remaining half stick of butter, onion, and pierogie.

Serve with the browned, buttery onions and sour cream.