I come from a family with strong roots in Saskatchewan, I am very proud to say that my parents grew up on farms in Saskatchewan and I have many relatives who live there. My Uncle still farms on my Grandfather’s land and the house where my dad grew up is still sitting on the land out there. I remember visiting my dad’s side of the family many times when I was growing up and while I can’t say that I was really excited to go on “vacation” to Saskatchewan, there are some very valuable memories that I hold dear.
I remember picking raspberries off the bushes in my Grandma’s back yard, I remember eating carrots straight out of the ground and feeling the gritty dirt in my teeth. I remember my Grandpa giving my sister and I each one dollar to buy a glass bottle of Grape Crush from the corner store which we were allowed to walk to by ourselves because everyone in that tiny little town knew each other.
Most importantly, I remember that my Grandma’s house always smelled like onions frying in a pan of butter because she was going to make pierogies; to this day, that smell reminds me of my Grandma and I love it! Pierogies are a staple in Saskatchewan, there is always a local lady in town who makes them the best and everyone buys them from her and they are a must have on all wedding buffet tables. The simple comfort of it makes me so happy and I wish I could say I make them all the time but I’d be lying. What’s true is that when I do make them, my family is pretty darn happy. I hope you take some time to make these for your family, I made this batch with my daughter and it was a nice memory of our own.
I bought the metal molds in the pictures from the internet, they came from Poland directly, they were very inexpensive but certainly not a necessity, if you have a circular cookie cutter about 4-6 inches wide or an empty, clean tin can with both ends removed, you can simply fill and fold.
4 1/2 cups Flour
1Tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/4 cup Boiling Water
3/4 cup Cold Water
4 Tbsp. Sour Cream
Add flour and salt to a bowl and mix to combine. Add boiling water while stirring, then using your hands, rub the dough like pastry to create a flaky look to the flour; the hot water is cooking some of the proteins in the flour. Add the cold water and sour cream and mix to combine, this can me done in a stand mixer or by hand. Remove from bowl and knead until smooth. Store at room temperature wrapped in plastic or covered with a bowl while you prepare the potatoes.
Potato & Onion Filling
1150g Potatoes, boiled until tender
150g Caramelized onions, 1 small onion
25g Green onion, chopped
6g Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, fresh
150g Sour Cream
4g Melted butter
Start the potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil, boil until they are tender. While the potatoes boil, begin to caramelize the onions, chop the onion into a medium dice, no need to be fussy here. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a med/low pan and add onions, you want to cook the onions over low heat for 25-35 minutes stirring occasionally until they are a golden brown colour. I usually puree the onions in a bullet blender so there are no chunks but you can keep them as chunky as you like. Have a bowl of egg whites ready with a pastry brush, this will act as glue to keep the two layers of dough together while boiling the pierogies.
To make the filling, combine the caramelized onions, green onions, seasonings, sour cream and melted butter together and stir to combine. If using a pierogi mold, flour the mold generously to avoid sticking. Roll out a piece of dough big enough to overlap the mold, the dough should be quite thin, no more than 1/4″ thick.
Lay the dough over the floured mold; take spoonfuls of filling and shape them into football shapes for each pocket of the mold. Paint egg whites in between the pockets.
Lay a second piece of dough over the filling and press in between the pockets to adhere the dough to the egg white pasted bottom layer. Gently roll over the dough to press the filling through the holes and to use the raised edges of the mold to help cut out the shapes. If using a circular cutter, place the filling in the center and paint the egg white in a half moon shape along the bottom of the circle and fold over, press together with fingers or a fork.
Tap out the pierogies and place on a floured baking sheet to keep them from sticking to each other. Continue for all dough and filling.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a heavy boil, place the pierogies in the water being careful not to add so many that the temperature of the water is brought down… no more than 12 at a time. boil until it floats to the surface and remove immediately to a pan of melted butter with bacon and/or onions. Saute on med/high heat until a crust is formed.
Serve family style garnished with green onions and parsley and sour cream on the side. Your family will love this, it is the ultimate comfort food. Please enjoy!
P.S These freeze beautifully, so I suggest making them in bulk and freezing them. Simply place the entire pan of pierogies on the pan with flour in the freezer and once frozen, place the pierogies in a zip lock bag and freeze.