You bet your Pierogies I'm Polish

As I kid I never really appreciated my heritage. So much of adolescence is about fitting in, and in the WASPy suburb I called home, my Polish surname stuck out like a sore kielbasa among my Mayflower-descended classmates, who were particulary adept in repeating the ethnic jokes their parents picked up at the country club. In my twenties, an ill-fated marriage temporarily whittled some syllables off the backend of my signature, and for that, I felt thankful. I was white-washed, the way I'd always wanted to be. But then came my thirties, otherwise known as the "decade when I stop giving a shit and start enjoying my life." The quest for "sameness" now felt tired and bland.  I had my name back, and I was learning to appreciate the things that made me different, that made me me. All of a sudden, I was enamored with all things Polish. I regret I didn't embrace it sooner, when more of my Polish-speaking relatives were alive. How foolish I was to take for granted the Christenings and anniversaries and weddings I attended as a child, where lavish spreads of succulent sausage adorned banquet tables at the Knights of Columbus hall, and tone-deaf relatives merrily bellowed the verses of "Stolat!"

As both my Polish father and grandfather would say "too old, too soon. Too wise, too late." (I think it rhymes in Polish.)

But really, it's far from too late. Over the past three years, I've been making up for lost time. It has taken me just as long to perfect my pierogie recipe, but (if I say so myself) it was well-worth it. They're so good, they even managed to silence a room full of beer-drunk football fans at a recent playoffs get-together.  A recipe like this is worth keeping to yourself, but these days I'm all about sharing my heritage. So, will I share it with you?

To quote my dear Polish mother, "you bet your pierogies" I will.

Kosakowski Pierogies
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 doz pierogies (about 12 main dish servings)

Ingredients (Dough)
8 oz all purpose flour
4 eggs
8 oz Cabot sour cream*
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water

1.25 lb potatoes, sliced and boiled
2 (heaping) tbs Cabot sour cream*
1 c grated Cabot cheddar*
1 c Cabot ricotta*
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c chopped onion
*support our farm, use Cabot products!

Prepare dough:
In large bowl (I use a KitchenAid mixer) beat eggs, sour cream, and salt. Gradually add flour. Add warm water in increments to maintain moist consistency of dough. When dough is soft (similar to pizza dough) roll it out to 1/8' thickness.

Prepare filling:
Boil potatoes (peeled or not, your preference) to mashing consistency. In large bowl (preferably mixer) add potatoes, sour cream, cheddar, ricotta, garlic powder, and onion. Mix until smooth.

Cut dough with 1.5" biscuit cutters (the top of a sturdy mug will also do, you just need to make a circle). Fill each circle with filling, fold shut, and crimp closed with a fork. Boil a large pot of water, and drop pierogies into water. When they float to the surface, remove. Freeze or prepare in skillet by sauteeing with butter and onions until lightly browned. Add salt to taste.


jeskevt (January 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM)  

Love the blog, the photo, the recipe--Everything! Way to go Alison!

Maria Naccarato (January 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM)  

Mmmmmm...these look so good! I'll definitely be trying them. Funny, I just said to Adam this afternoon that we haven't had pierogies in awhile. There's a little cafe on Rt 57 in Washington that makes pretty good ones. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Anonymous –  (January 22, 2011 at 7:25 PM)  

Wow! I wish I would have know you had a blog sooner. I would have been a devout follower from the beginning, but I can start now :)!
I PROMISE you I will try this recipe and soon! My husband loves, and I mean LOVES, pierogies! About 7 years ago we were celebrating his birthday at my parents' house and my mom asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. He replied, "Pierogies and Lemon Meringue Pie." My mother had never made either of those things so he was out of luck. Since then I have perfected my Lemon Meringue Pie, but have yet to try my hand at homemade pierogies. Thanks so much for sharing!
P.S. Can I be YOU when I grow up :)??? I am so envious of your amazing life!
Audrey :)

Emily (The Culinary Couple) (January 25, 2011 at 9:11 AM)  

Oh, I do love pierogies! Thanks for sharing your heritage and your recipe.

Simply the Sweet Life (January 31, 2011 at 2:53 AM)  

Yes, I remember the days of rude Polish jokes, they were bad in the Chicago suburbs though I never really understood why they told and just ignored the stupidity of them.
The Pierogies look amazing. What a great treasure from your heritage!

Anonymous –  (June 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM)  

Wonderful! Have you tried Daisy brand sour cream? I was a loyal Cabot user until recently.

Also -- as a similar subanglo, (but with dark skin and dark hair - with 100% Polish ancestry)-- is it not pierog for one, and pierogi, not pierogies, for more than one?

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