Last summer, I brought my baby girl home to Manitoba to show her what being a prairie girl is all about. Every year, lots of folks who grew up in my home town return for the town’s birthday party. There’s a parade, and fireworks, and a big beach games event on the lake. There’s a woman in town who makes these perogies. She’s pretty much a perogy legend at home. In Manitoba, we totally have perogy legends. Anyways. Mrs. Krampetz sells her perogies at a kiosk at the beach games.
With Ada in her sun hat perched happily in her baby carrier, I bought a plate of Mrs. K’s perogies. The pale potato dumplings were boiled and served with translucent onions, a big dollop of sour cream, and they were swimming in melted butter. Six bites of Ukranian heaven.
Here in Nova Scotia, I can get frozen perogies at the grocery store. If served with a significant quantity of bacon, they’re passable. But, everything’s better with bacon. I decided that it was time to make my own perogies. I admit, mine still don’t compare to Mrs. K’s, and they did look a little…shall we say…rustic? But it wasn’t bad for a first attempt. They still tasted amazing.
Here’s what you need:
For the dough –
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling
For the filling –
2 cups boiled and mashed potatoes (I used sweet potatoes in mine and they were awesome!)
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 tbsp. each butter and olive oil
1 cup grated cheddar
1 green onion, finely chopped
Cooked bacon, optional (what? Is bacon ever really an option?)
salt and pepper to taste
Here’s what you do:
Mix the dough ingredients together with a spoon until just mixed. You should have a relatively stiff dough. Turn it out onto a floured countertop and knead until smooth and fully combined. Return the dough to the bowl and place in the refrigerator while you make up the filling.
Boil the potatoes until very soft. Meanwhile, add the butter and olive oil to a pan. Over medium heat, melt the butter and add the white onion. Saute until translucent.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain off the water and mash well. Add the cooked white onion, grated cheddar, green onion and bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn out onto a well floured countertop. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.
To cut the perogy shapes, I used my handy dandy empanada maker (I ended up with some monstrously huge perogies, BUT, they were easier to fill and seal.
So. You could use a drinking glass or cookie cutter, depending on the size of perogies you want).
This is where having a willing and able perogy-making buddy can make life a little easier. Dollop a spoonful of filling into each round of dough, fold over, and pinch shut. Make sure that none of the filling peeks out of your closed-up perogy – if it does it will surely break open when you boil it and you’ll end up with a potato-y mess.
Once you have all your perogies shaped, add salt and a glug of olive oil to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil your perogies, a few at a time so they don’t stick together, just until they float up to the surface of the water.
Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan, add some olive oil and/or onions and/or bacon to saute. As your perogies finish boiling, remove them from the water using a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot frying pan and saute until golden brown. Serve with sour cream (and maybe a pool of melted butter?).
(if you want to save your perogies for another time, just boil them, remove them from the water and let them cool. They can be frozen and then sauteed at your convenience).
Recipe source unknown.