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Sauerkraut Pierogi

(recipe, Jennifer Walker)

Introduction

Instead of the traditional rolled flour dough, these pierogi are made with a soft potato dough that is pressed into shape. My family usually eats plain pierogi, but you can also serve them with applesauce. You can also fry breadcrumbs in butter and sprinkle the mixture on top of the pierogi before serving.

Ingredients

    Filling
    1. 1 Tbsp. oil
    2. 1 large onion, chopped
    3. 27 oz. sauerkraut (one large can or most of a bag)
    Dough
    1. 9 potatoes, peeled
    2. 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    3. 1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, store-bought or homemade
    4. 1 egg, lightly beaten
    5. Salt to taste

    Steps

    1. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it just begins to brown. Stir the onion-and-oil mixture into the sauerkraut, and refrigerate until cool.
    2. Make the dough: Boil the potatoes until they feel soft when poked with a fork, about 15 minutes. (The time depends on the size of your potatoes.) Press the potatoes through a ricer to get soft, confetti-like strands, then gently stir the flour and breadcrumbs into the potatoes to combine. Add the lightly beaten egg, stirring quickly if your potatoes are still warm. Season with salt to taste.
    3. Assemble the pierogi: Grab pieces of dough that are slightly larger than a golf ball. (You can make your pierogi smaller or larger, though, depending on what you like.) Pat the dough into a circle that fits in the palm of a hand. Lay a tablespoon of the sauerkraut mixture in the center of the dough. (Or more or less, depending on the size of the pierogi. Just make sure the sauerkraut mixture doesn’t touch the circle’s edges.) Fold the dough in half to form a pocket, and press the edges together to seal.
    4. Cook the pierogi: Boil the pierogi in salted water until they rise to the top of the pot, about 5 minutes. Remove the cooked pierogi from the hot water with a slotted spoon and place the pierogi on nonstick aluminum foil to dry. (You can also dab them with paper towels to remove excess water.)
    5. Serve the pierogi: When ready to eat, add a tablespoon of butter or oil to a sauté pan and, over medium heat, fry the pierogi until golden on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste while hot, then serve.

    Note

    Variation: Instead of sauerkraut, use farmer's cheese to fill the pierogi. Storage: If you prefer, you can boil the pierogi and then freeze them. After they've dried and cooled, arrange them in a single layer on baking sheets lined with waxed paper or silicone baking mats. When frozen, pop the pierogi off the sheets, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and store the pierogi in ziplock freezer bags. The day before you want to eat them, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator until soft, then fry them up just before serving them.