I’m not Ukranian. Not even a little bit. But for whatever reason, every Christmas eve, without fail, my family makes a Ukranian feast of perogies and cabbage rolls and gathers around for a delicious meal. Maybe it’s the fact that my grandparents were both farm kids born and raised in Saskatchewan, so the Ukranian immigrant presence just naturally permeated our cuisine. Up until now, we’d always bought the frozen, commercially produced perogies, so this year I thought I’d live up to my foodie reputation and make my own. I’ve adapted a recipe from Canadian Living Magazine, and on my second attempt, I doubled it in order to be able to freeze bagged portions for meals over this upcoming semester (the last one of my law degree, heyooooo). I definitely had no idea that, based on my cutter size and amount of filling per perogy, it would yield 108 in total. Anyway, here it is!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (note: in my doubled recipe, I used about 3/4 cup shredded cheddar, 3/4 cup smoked gruyere)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
To Make the Dough: in a large bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, water, and oil; stir into flour mixture, adding up to 2 tbsp more water if needed to make soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 10-15 times. Halve dough; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
To Make the Filling: in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; mash well. Add in butter, cheese, salt and pepper; mash again until mixed well.
To Assemble the Perogies: working with one portion of dough at a time, roll out on a floured surface until dough is a scant 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough with a 3 inch round cutter, setting aside spare dough for a second rolling.
Place 1 tsp of filling on each round, wet 1/2 with water, and fold other 1/2 over, pinching to seal.
Place finished perogies on a floured cookie sheet. (In my giant double batch, I then froze each completed sheet; I bagged them in batches of 10 to make future meals with).
To Serve: In a medium saucepan, melt together 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil. Slice 1/2 a yellow onion, and sautee on medium-low for 35-40 minutes, until deep golden brown and caramelized.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring salted water to boil. Add in perogies and boil until they float at the top for 2-3 mins. Transfer using a slotted spoon to the caramelized onions, and quickly toss to coat in the warm onions and butter. Top with sour cream. Serve with a side of sauteed mushrooms and spinach in garlic.