Many of the traditional homemade pierogies recipes include a sauerkraut or cheese filling. However, our favorite pierogies are the ones with meat. We used to purchase them at a Polish market near my grandmother's house before she passed away. Since we no longer visit that area, I made it my mission to figure out how to make them at home. Yes, they can be time-consuming to make; but if you double or triple the batch you'll have enough for several easy freezer meals.
Filling for Homemade Pierogies
1 lb. ground beef
One onion, finely minced
6 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. flour
1 C. beef broth
Pepper to taste
Brown the bacon in a frying pan until crispy. Remove and drain. When cool enough, crumble into fine pieces. Reserve some of the bacon grease and saute the onions until translucent. Add ground beef and brown over medium-high heat. You'll want the ground beef to be very fine, so while you're browning it break it down into small pieces. Don't drain the fat. The drippings become a base for the roux you'll create next. Add the bacon pieces back in to your ground beef and onion mixture.
Add the flour to the ground beef, bacon, and onion mixture. Stir until pieces are coated. Next, add the broth and simmer until the filling starts to thicken.
Dough for Homemade Pierogies:
For the dough, I use a recipe that's similar to the gnocchi recipe that appears in my book, Instant Bargains: 600+ Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bills and Eat Well for Less. If you like ginger, you may want to include that as well.
Combine potato flakes and boiling water. Allow to cool. If you have leftover mashed potatoes – this is a perfect way to use them up. I keep potato flakes on hand just for this recipe (along with my gnocchi recipe) because I don't think the difference in taste (which is next to none) is worth making mashed potatoes in scratch.
Add in remaining ingredients and mix until dough forms. Roll out dough until about 1/8″ thick. Use a round cookie cutter or glass to make rounds for each pierogi.
Instructions for Assembling Homemade Pierogies
Brush each dough round with beaten egg. Flip over, and on the inside add about a teaspoon of your homemade pierogi filling. Fold the round in half and seal shut. Boil your pierogies until they rise to the top (about 3-4 minutes). Saute in a frying pan with butter until brown. If you have any of the meat mixture left, throw it in the butter while you're sauteeing your pierogies. Serve with sour cream.
Yield: 24-30 Pierogies (depending on size)
Allow pierogies to completely dry after boiling. Do not saute in butter. Skip that step completely. I lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After they're frozen, I place them in zippered one-gallon bags. To serve, thaw completely and saute to finish cooking.