My wife grew up outside of Philadelphia in a family with deep Eastern European roots. When we moved to Minneapolis, she wasn’t concerned about the cold. The lack of fresh pierogi in the supermarket however had her rethinking her relocation.

“Where can I get pierogi?”

On Fridays when the weather is cool, they can be found at Saint Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church. Volunteers have been making pyrohy (the Ukrainian word for pierogi) by hand here since the early 1960s as a fundraiser for the church. Handmade PyrohyIt’s a labor-intensive job but they seem to have it down. One by one volunteers fill and fold little pillows of either potato and cheese or sauerkraut. The results are so good my wife can now fear the coming cold with a warm plate of pyrohy (with sautéed onions and sour cream, of course).

St Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church serves a pyrohy lunch most Fridays during non-summer months. The public is invited to dine in or buy a bag to go.

Where’s your favorite pierogi? Leave a comment below and let us know where we can find a good one.

If you’re in the mood to try your hand at making your own pierogi, then you’re in luck: I got this recipe from a class I took at Cooks of Crocus Hill.

Pierogies

Based on a recipe from Cooks of Crocus Hill

 

POTATO FILLING:

3 tablespoons butter

⅓ cup minced shallots

2 cups cold mashed potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

⅓ cup shredded aged cheddar cheese

 

DOUGH:

3 eggs

8 ounces sour cream

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 large red onion, finely julienned

1 bunch green onions, very thinly sliced (green part only)

 

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallots and cook until soft and just beginning to brown.
  3. In a large work bowl, mix the shallots, potatoes, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese.
  4. Set aside.

FOR THE DOUGH:

  1. Beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; stir until the dough comes together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until firm and smooth.
  5. Form into 2 flat discs; let rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Roll each disc out to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Cut into 3-inch round circles using circle/biscuit cutters.

FILLING AND COOKING:

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water up to a boil.
  2. Place a small amount of filling in each dough circle. Moisten the edges with water, fold in half and press together with the tines of a fork to seal. Repeat.
  3. Place sealed pierogies in the water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until floating. Remove from water and place on an oiled baking sheet.
  4. Place a large sauté pan over high heat; once hot, add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan to a depth of about ⅛ inch.
  5. In small batches, cook the pierogies until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add a large pinch or two of red onion halfway through cooking. Once cooked, transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Garnish with green onions and serve with sour cream and applesauce.

PRO TIP: This recipe is labor intensive. Make a double batch and freeze half for later. To freeze, lay perogies on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, toss them in a freezer bag to store for later.