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Recipe: New Year's Saddleberk Sausage Pierogi

Here's another awesome New Year's treat that might take a little more effort, but will more than pay off in the end. Pierogi is an eastern European (especially Polish) dumpling that can have many different types of fillings, but commonly use potatoes, cheese, ground meat and sauerkraut. See how it fits into the New Year's theme? 

Pierogi are not the fastest or easiest recipe to make, and you'll need to block out some time to make them properly, but they are oh so good! We think you'll love them. 

We used this super helpful recipe from the folks at Barefeet in the Kitchen and modified it a bit to fit our particular pork needs. There is wiggle room in the filling to play with different flavors and amounts, but it's very important to follow the dough recipe to the letter. Enjoy! 

What you'll need: 
FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium size potatoes, any variety will work, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped small about 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut
  • 4 ounces farmer's cheese *You could also probably subsitute some sort of shredded cheese here, we had some issues getting ours to melt properly and a shredded type may work better
  • 2 1/2 lbs. Saddleberk Bratwurst

DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 - 1 cup very hot water

COOKING & SERVING INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • Toppings: sour cream, applesauce, pickled veggies

FILLING INSTRUCTIONS:

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water and mash the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cold.  Add the cheese and stir to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to make the pierogies.

In a large skillet over medium to high heat, warm the oil and then add the brats. Pour in enough water to almost cover them. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-20 minutes. Don't let the water get to a full boil because it can cause the brats to burst and dry out. Uncover and let the remaining water steam out. Once there's just a bit of water left, add and saute the onion and sauerkraut until tender. Once tender, chop and mince the brats and onion/sauerkraut mixture down to a finely ground mixture. The filling can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated until needed.

DOUGH INSTRUCTIONS:

Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Make a small well with your hand and crack the egg into it. Stir to combine and then gradually add the hot water, mixing with your hands until the dough is very sticky and well combined. If it becomes too sticky and wet, add just a tablespoon or so more flour. The photo on the left is too wet, the one on the right (with the spoon in the bowl) is perfect. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle a large board with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and flip it over a few times to coat with flour. Gently knead the dough just a few times with your hands, adding a sprinkling of flour as needed.

Shaping pierogies: Divide the dough into four sections and roll out one of the sections very thin, to about 1/8" thickness. (This should be just a bit thinner than a pie crust.) Cut into circles and place 1 tablespoon of either the potato filling or the sausage on one side. Fold over the circle and pinch around the dough. Continue until you've filled all the dough. Place the prepared pierogies in a single layer onto a waiting plate. Don't stack them or the dough will stick together.

Boiling pierogies: Drop the waiting pierogies into the water, a few at a time. Use a spoon or spatula to gently nudge them off the bottom of the pot if they stick. When they float to the surface of the water, lift them out carefully with a slotted spoon. Place them on a buttered plate and drizzle a small amount of melted butter on top of them to prevent sticking together. Let the boiled pierogies cool for a few minutes before frying them.

Frying pierogies: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt a tablespoon of butter. When the butter sizzles, place the boiled pierogies in the skillet in a single layer. Let them cook 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges, flip over and repeat. The pierogies will not turn brown all over, but the edges should crisp and be light brown. Remove the finished pierogies to a buttered baking dish.