I hate pierogies. I realize that this probably makes me a blasphemous Winnipegger but please understand that there is not a stitch of Ukrainian blood in me and I didn't grow up with a baba from the 'old country' who carefully prepared the little potato-filled pillows from scratch. My Dad is in the food business and one of his clients was a popular frozen pierogi brand, loved and adored by most people except me and those lucky buggers who have authentic, pierogi-making, Ukrainian baba's. My StepMama used to make a pre ballet class/soccer game pierogi casserole when me and my four pierogi-loving siblings were kids that involved putting the frozen devils in a casserole dish with some slightly diluted canned mushroom soup, topped with cheddar cheese and baked. Again, loved and adored by most except pierogi-hatin' me.
When Boomer travelled to Ukraine on a youth exchange program, she came back having learned the ways of cabbage rolls, borsht and pierogi's from an authentic Ukrainian baba. Upon first bite, I was in love. The Boom makes a vegan version for me that she fills with potatoes, caramelized onions and garlic - SO GOOD - but you can go crazy with the fillings! Try sauteed cabbage or mushrooms and maybe some shredded vegan cheese...oh the possibilities...
Authentic Ukrainian Pierogies
(blood, sweat and tears from the 'old country', optional)
2 cups (ish, you might need more) flour (feel free to use whole wheat but it's hard to work with!)
1/2 cup (ish) water (again, you may need more)
1 tsp salt
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
Mix together the flour, salt and water in a large bowl, adding more flour or more water as needed to create a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes even more smooth and quite elastic. Let the dough rest for about half and hour while you prepare the fillin'.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic, sprinkle them with some S&P and cover with a lid. Stirring every so often, cook the onions until translucent (about ten to fifteen min) then remove the lid and continue cooking them until they are golden brown. Mix the onions and garlic with the mashed potatoes and season the filling with S&P.
Roll half of the dough out on a floured surface to a nice think 1/8" thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or water glass dipped in flour, cut circles out of the dough (and the remaining dough). Put a dollop of filling in the middle of the circles, making sure not to overfill them, and then pinch them closed tightly.
At this point you can dust them in flour, freeze them in an even layer on a baking sheet and then store in freezer bags until you use them OR go right ahead and drop them in a pot of boiling salted water until they float and then fry 'em up in vegan butter or oil until they are golden broooowwwwwnn. Use the same method of cooking them right from frozen.