Once upon a time, there was a store called Parma Pierogies. Based on its name, the location and product of the store is obvious. They made some damn good pierogi – even Bill Clinton stopped by while campaigning in the NEOhio area. When we were looking for a selection for the next Monthly Cooking Class, I wanted a challenge. And something uber delicious. It was time to make the ethnic dish our suburb was infamous for. Since I’ve been itching to make something from Michael Symon’s cookbook, we were ready to pinch. You’ll find our recipe adjustments and comments in italics.
Michael Symon’s Beef Cheek Pierogi Dough:
As adapted from Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen by Michael Symon with Michael Ruhlman. Makes about 2 dozen pierogi.
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives (My mom chose to omit these)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling
Note: My mom noted that this dough recipe is almost exactly the same recipe for my grandma’s kolache cookies. With that said, I knew we were in for a good meal.
Mix egg, sour cream, butter, chives and salt. Remember: we left out the chives.
Mix in flour thoroughly until dough forms.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, up to two days.
As I am highly impatient when it comes to cooking, we let our dough rest for about 30 – 60 minutes.
To assemble, roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut into 3-inch rounds.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto each round. Fold the dough over and seal the edges into a half-moon shape.
Press edges with fork to seal.
For our fillings, the group decided on the following:
- shredded beef made “beef stew” style with carrots & gravy:
- sweet cabbage (think “cabbage & noodles” without the noodles):
- potato/cheese and bacon/potato/cheese:
- sweet potato (with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar):
- ricotta (with egg, sugar & parsley):
- apricot (specially requested by Hans): not pictured because I’m awesome and forgot the pic.
Bring a pasta pot full of water to a boil. Add pierogi, 6 to 8 at a time. Cook until they float, then allow them to cook about 4 more minutes. Drain.
In a large skillet, heat butter and saute pierogi in batches until they are brown.
Serve with sour cream mixed with horseradish and sauteed mushrooms. We served the sour cream as is, no horseradish, and mushrooms on the side.
We sauteed onions, obviously - can’t have pierogi without that. We also had veal brats, kelbasa and green beans for those who wanted the full spectrum of food groups.
Final step: remember to let your dog inside:
Just kidding! He was in and out all afternoon long, but we couldn’t help but make him wait a moment for a photo.
It’s not a party without some dessert. Luckily, Dana’s birthday was earlier in the week, so naturally birthday cake and ice cream was in order! Giant Eagle makes a solid cake if I do say so myself. Happy Birthday D!
MY THOUGHTS ON THE DAY: making pierogi was EXHAUSTING but totally worth all the effort. I don’t know if it was standing in one place all afternoon or the 70 minute kickboxing class I took earlier in the day, but my calves were screaming at me by the end of the day. However, the exhaustion was well worth it because the end result was quite tasty. The dough was flavorful, but allow each of the fillings to take center stage. I tried the beef, sweet cabbage and sweet potato versions. The beef was a nice surprise – not at all what you usually get with a pierogi. The sweet cabbage was my favorite – I love my cabbage and noodles and it tasted just as good. The girls and I decided that the sweet potato pierogi need something more – maybe more sweet potato. The seasoning was right on, but I wanted more of the potato vibe that you get with a traditional potato pierogi.
I brought home two dozen for Hans: one dozen of the bacon/potato/cheese (YUM) and one dozen of apricot pierogi (don’t knock it til you try it!). They are waiting in our freezer for a cold snowy night – you know we still have a few left coming our way before spring gets here!