So much to do…. so much to do! The Christmas tree is up, Christmas cards posted, the Gingerbread Cake dough is maturing in the fridge. Next? My favourite Christmas dish: Pierogi with Sauerkraut and Mushroom Filling.
Do you remember my post about Pierogi from last year? I showed you how to make this fabulous dish step by step and explained a bit more about what it is, where it comes from and why it is loved so much by many people around the globe. Last year I run out of my homemade sauerkraut, so I filled my Christmas pierogi with potatoes, farmer’s (or feta) cheese and roasted garlic, and they tasted amazing!
This year I was much better organised and with the addition of mushrooms I made the officially favourite, Christmas, Polish, Vegan Dish of all times!
My sis, Asia, says that she loves Pierogi because they taste like tradition – I couldn’t agree more.
Pierogi Filled with Sauerkraut and Mushroom Filling
There are many dishes I could skip during the Christmas dinner or lunch, but not the Pierogi Filled with Sauerkraut and Mushroom Filling. Sometimes you can notice a bit of a tension around the table, when the bottom of the dish starts to show, but normally, there is a dozen or two more of Pierogi tucked away in the fridge for later. Pierogi with Sauerkraut and Mushroom Filling are simply delicious and not many can resist them.
I’ll never forget the joy and the feeling of overwhelming warmth, and love, and the tearful eyes when we opened package that was sent from Mrs Marysia just before Christmas… It was mine and Peter’s (my brother) first Christmas away from home, in cold and wet Yorkshire, UK, where we had arrived only a few weeks earlier to find jobs and to start a new life.
In that package we found Pierogi.
We enjoyed every single bite and only ate a few Pierogi at a time to make them last forever. And they tasted like no other Pierogi I have ever had before or after. It was one of the best Christmas gifts ever.
- 300g Sauerkraut - rinsed under a running water (If I am out of my Homemade Sauerkraut I like Hengstenberg brand, which you can easily buy on Amazon)
- 40g mixed dry mushrooms, soaked in 300ml of water overnight (keep that water for later)
- 150g fresh Portobello - very finely chopped
- 150g onions - very finely chopped
- 2 tbsp marjoram leaves - fresh and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves - fresh and finely chopped
- 4 plump garlic cloves - very finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 450 g all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tbsp salt
- 350 ml warm milk or water
- 50g unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 boiled and mashed potato
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil dry mushrooms in the water that they were soaking in, reserve the water. When cool enough, chop the mushrooms finely and also reserve, but separately.
- Place the sauerkraut in a colander and run cold water through it to rinse some of the sour juice away. Then press it hard to remove as much moisture from the sauerkraut as possible. On a chopping board, slice the cabbage with a sharp knife in many directions to create an easy to work with filling material.
- Place the slices/chopped sauerkraut in a deep pan, cover with the water that the dry mushrooms were soaking in (you can add a bit more water to the cabbage if necessary), bring it to boil and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes under a lid or until the sauerkraut softens and there is no more crunch to it - you’ll need to stir it now and again to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When the cabbage is soft take the lid off, add marjoram, thyme, mix well and wait until almost all the water evaporates. Allow it all to cool down.
- In a separate pan fry onion in oil until translucent, add garlic and fresh mushrooms. Cook on a slow heat until most of the mushroom moisture evaporate from the pan.
- Now add the cooked mushrooms and the fried ones with onions and garlic to the cabbage, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pick a space where you’ll be working your dough and remove everything out of the way that would not appreciate being covered in flour. Make sure you have an empty water glass, 2 kitchen cloths and a dough roller ready to rock.
- In a small pan slightly heat (you don’t want to boil it or even let it steam) milk and then add butter. Let the butter melt completely.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter with milk, 1 mashed potato and salt until it becomes a ball of rough dough.
- Dust the work surface with flour, then knead the dough until nice, smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 3-4 pieces. Leave one piece on the counter and put the remaining ones under the kitchen cloth to keep them from drying.
- Put it all together
- Roll the piece of the pierogi dough out to 3mm thick. Using the water glass cut the circles in it.
- Now working one by one: place about 1 tsp of the filing in the middle of the circular piece of the dough and fold it (with the filling in it) over the filling in half (so it creates a half-moon shape) and using your fingertips seal the edges by pressing them both together. Don't overload the pierogi with the filling, as this makes it more difficult to seal them. Pierogi seal best if the edges of the dough pieces stay dry. Dust the edges with flour if you have trouble with sealing some of them. You can also press the edge of a folded Pierogi with a fork - don't puncture the dough though.
- When the first batch is done place the assembled pierogi on the flour dusted surface, avoiding stacking them on top of one another, and cover with the second kitchen cloth to protect them from drying. Continue with the remaining dough until the filling is exhausted.
- Fill a large pan with water until half full, add a drizzle of oil and bring to boil. Boil your pierogi in batches to avoid crowding the pan until they rise up to the surface of the water. Let them float for 1 minute, then remove them into a colander to drain any excess water. Repeat the process until all of the pierogi are boiled.