Ever since a Polish friend of ours made traditional pierogis for us I have very much wanted to learn to make them. For those not familiar with pierogis, they are semi-circular dumplings, usually fried in butter and onions and then topped with any number of ingredients. When she first made it for us she topped it with a mince of mushrooms sauteed in butter (not quite a duxelle, but close), onions, and bacon. It was amazing. Weeks later, when she asked me to help her make another round of pierogis, I jumped at the chance.
I have a call in for the proper measurements. They will be posted asap. Until then all measurements are estimated/made up. We each made a volcano out of two cups of flour, added an egg, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of butter, and half a cup of sour cream and kneaded for ten minutes or so until a smooth dough is achieved, adding butter as needed. Actually, I kneaded my dough until a smooth dough was achieved and then I finished hers. Deciding that we needed to knead another batch I was instructed to produce once more. I spent tweny plus minutes doing the tedious job of kneading dough but I was happy to do so in the service of learning to make a traditional Polish pierogi. Meanwhile she made a topping of sauteed onion with bacon. Before she plated the dish, I mentioned that I didn’t realize that she used sour cream the last time she made this for us. To paraphrase, she responded, “No. Oh, no. I would never let my mother know that I used sour cream. This is not Polish. This is something I read on the internet.”
There will come a day when I will learn how to make traditional Polish pierogis. Until then, I will make them with sour cream because they are damn good that way.
We had them with one of my favorite wines. Serra Barbera d’Alba 2009, Paitin Vineyard is on the lighter side, showing spice on top of cherry followed by soft tannins. It carries enough acid to stand up to tomato based pasta dishes and has enough body to pair well with lamb and pork. It’s a great wine to pull out when you want to give the impression of an occasion without spending a whole lot of money. One of the great advantages of living in the beautiful state of Alabama is that it is imported directly by Birmingham’s own International Wines who also distributes it statewide. That means one less middle man which means we buy for around $16.00 while the rest of the country buys for $19.00. Add that to the fact that Alabama’s rest stops are second to none and we have the recipe for Utopia. Look upon us and despair.