Hello, and welcome to the first instalment of This Butcher Cooks!
It has been a plan of mine to start posting recipes on this blog, and that time has finally come! We're kicking it off with one of my personal favourites: Pierogis!
Now, I have no Ukrainian heritage. My love for pierogis stemmed from a sweet, old lady who used to make them every Friday at my middle school growing up. They were fresh made every week, and nothing could beat them.
I have found a few options for frozen vegan pierogis, such as the Cheemo Ukrainian Garlic pierogis, or Stella's Pierogies for a gluten-free option. While both of these are delicious, I wanted more. I wanted to create my own pierogis from scratch, like my favourite pierogi lady, using something from VGB to put them to the next level.
Starting out with the dough, I followed a recipe from Genius Kitchen as a base. To start, you need:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (we used grape-seed)
1 1/4 cups warm water
Combine flour, salt, oil, and water in a large bowl, and mix until dough forms a ball. If it is a little dry, add small amounts of water until blended. Add more flour if it seems too wet. After the ingredients are mixed and kneaded, let rest for at least half an hour. We found the longer we left it, the easier it was to roll out.
While the dough is resting (or while someone else is preparing it), set your oven to 375ºF. Roast 2 heads of garlic with a bit of olive oil, rosemary, and ground pepper. Wrap in toil foil and place on baking sheet. Chop two medium-sized onions in half. Top with olive oil and cajun seasoning, and add to the baking sheet with the garlic. Roast for 50 minutes.
While they are roasting, start boiling a pot of water. Peel roughly 6 medium potatoes. Chop up, and add to salted, boiling water and cook until soft and mashable. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
Chop 2 smoking’ patties into small bits. Quickly fry for 1-2 mins in a light oil. Cut up your square of cheese into small chunks. Add the roasted garlic and onion to potatoes. Add some turmeric to potatoes. Blend. We went for a Mexican style filling, so we added:
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and/or seasoning salt.
3 teaspoons lemon juice
Blend again. Depending on your spice level, add more or less red chilli flakes to your mix. For one batch, we used 1/2 tsp and found it quite spicy.
Now, the exciting part! Roll out your dough until it is 1-2 mm thick, and cut out circles. We used an old large Adam's peanut butter jar, and found it to be the perfect size. Add about 2 teaspoons of potato filling to dough. Grab a few crumbles of Smokin' Burger and a slice of Captian Pepperjack, and add to mixture. Fold dough carefully in half, and press close with a fork. Repeat in groups of 10.
While you are filling your pierogis, boil a large pot of water and heat up a pan with oil. Drop the first 10 pierogis into the boiling water, and cook until floating. Quickly transfer to the frying pan to get a crisp outer layer.
Once fried, plate with your favourite toppings. I went with a chipotle salsa, with some nutritional yeast, some Coconut Bacon I had in my fridge, and rosemary garnish. This recipe made roughly 60 pierogis, but between the 4 of us we ate them all!
If this is too many pierogis for you, you can freeze them after they are boiled, and fry them another day. We had a bit of leftover filling, and it made the best breakfast Potato Pancakes the next day!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you try it out at home, please make sure to tag us in your photos with @theverygoodbutchers on Instagram, or @theverygoodbutcher on Twitter!