The Chew’s Chef Michael Symon’s Peirogies

I am a huge fan of the tv show, The Chew. I am also a huge fan of peirogies. For those who don’t know what peirogies are, there are like the Polish version of raviolis or dumplings and are usually filled with potatoes and cheese, but sometimes meat and/or vegetables too.

I was introduced to peirogies by my Sephardic Jewish mother. I enjoy them boiled or sautéed, with melted butter, caramelized onions, and sour cream. They are always in the frozen section of any market and easy to make on a busy weeknight, or even great for a filling snack.

So when I saw The Chew’s recent episode of Chef Michael Symon’s authentic peirogies, I knew I could easily try it. I read a few reviews other’s posted online before deciding this was the recipe. Chef Symon’s recipe calls for sour cream in the dough mixture and some people said the sour cream was “unheard of” and made the dough super sticky and unworkable. However, I thought it was fine to work with as long as you had plenty of flour to spare while kneading, rolling and cutting the dough.

This recipe also calls for Farmer’s cheese. Before this, I had never even heard of Farmer’s cheese. It’s almost like a white sharp cheddar, but when softened a bit, the texture starts to feel like a brie. I tasted it before adding it to the mashed potatoes, just to make sure. It was pretty good, but then again, there’s not many cheeses I don’t like.

Chef Symon says to cut the dough into 3-inch circles an 1/8 of an inch thick, but when it was time to add the filling, I felt the need to flatten the circles even more and widen them out so they could fold over the filling. I was worried that the dough might have been stretched out too much, but when I boiled them, none of them fell apart and none of the filling leaked out.

Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are!

They were delicious and I would eat them again, but you definitely need to make time for this recipe. I planned it out. On Tuesday, I made the dough, which literally took no more then 10 minutes, prep to finish. I made the mistake of forgetting to let the butter soften, and I also don’t have a food processor or a stand mixer, so I did it the old-fashioned way: a fork and some muscle.

The recipe says to keep the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but no more than 2 days. So, on Thursday I took the dough out. I also don’t have a rolling pin (I really need a few more kitchen items), so I used a large dough cutter to smoosh the dough and then the palms of my floured hands to flatten it out to an 1/8 of an inch thick. I also used a small bowl with the diameter of 3 inches as my “cutting tool” (I really need a few more kitchen items).

I will say this recipe might leave you a little bloated (in a good way, but still, who likes being bloated?). When I have the time for it again, I will be eating delicious homemade peirogies!

Prep Time: 2 hours to 2 days

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-6 people (I made about 22 peirogies with this recipe’s measurements)

Ingredients:

For The Pierogi Dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. sour cream
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling the dough)

For The Filling:

  • 2 c. of mashed potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion (sliced thinly and evenly)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 c. of Farmer’s cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. of butter
  • Sour cream (to serve)

Directions:

To make the dough, work the egg, sour cream, butter, and salt together by hand to form a dough. Don’t worry if the mixture is not uniform and, as with pie dough, don’t overwork it. Add flour and mix thoroughly with your hands until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/8 inch thickness and cut it into 3 inch rounds. It should look like this:

Peirogies 1.JPG

Boil the potatoes in salted water, mash them, and add butter, milk and a bit more salt.

Add all of the cheese to the mashed potatoes to make the filling.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each round, being careful not to overstuff.

Fold the dough over into half-moons and press the edges with a fork to seal them.

To caramelize the onions, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, arrange into an even layer, and season with salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking, until caramelized for about 15 minutes.

Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil. Add the pierogies and cook until they float, then cook for 4 minutes once they have begun to float. Drain well in a colander.

Serve the way you like it; i.e. melted butter, caramelized onions, a dollop of sour cream.

I got Chef Symon’s recipe here.

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