As the days get shorter, darker and colder in the winter, many turn to food as a source of internal warmth and comfort. Besides being essential for life, food brings people together and generally just makes us feel good. This is especially true during the chilly winter months we get here in Canada, where tasty comfort food is more than welcome.
In 1966 when the term ‘comfort food’ was first used, one would turn to foods that were prepared in a traditional way and reminds the person of their childhood, home, family and friends.
Commonly eaten in the Canadian prairie provinces, perogies, pierogi, perogy – (however you spell it) are a delicious filled dumpling with origins from Central and Eastern Europe. They can be stuffed with potato, cheese, bacon, and more, and they taste absolutely perfect with their typical sour cream topping. There’s also a giant perogy statue in Glendon, Alberta, showing you exactly how important the food is viewed in Canada.
The ultimate in comfort, peasant food or gourmet cuisine, as a main event or side, perogies can do no wrong.
Potato, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Perogies
In a bowl, beat egg, soft butter & sour cream together. Add flour & salt, combining until smooth. Scrape dough out of bowl onto a lightly floured work surface & knead dough for 5 - 8 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to use.
Chop onions. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet & sauté onions until caramelized. Remove from skillet & set aside.
In the same skillet, melt another 2 Tbsp butter & add the chopped mushrooms. Salt & pepper the mushrooms & sauté until they are tender & all the liquid excluded by the mushrooms has evaporated, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
While you are cooking the onions & mushrooms, peel & quarter the potatoes & place in a small pot. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then lower heat & simmer until soft enough to mash, 15-20 minutes. Drain & place in a large mixing bowl.
Mash & whip potatoes with grated cheddar cheese until smooth & fluffy. Fold in the cooked mushrooms & caramelized onions until well blended. Salt & pepper to taste.
Remove perogy dough from refrigerator & cut into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into about a 3-inch round. Place a heaping Tbsp of filling in the middle of pierogi. Dip your finger in a bowl of water & run it along the edge of the dough. Fold perogy in half, carefully pinching together edges to seal it completely.
Cook & Serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop perogies in & boil until all the perogies float to the surface & dough becomes somewhat translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove perogies with a slotted spoon, making sure to let as much of the excess water drip off as possible.
In a large skillet, heat a Tbsp of butter. Place drained pierogis in skillet. Do not over-crowd so that they can all lightly brown on both sides.
If you wish , you can make a few extra onions & mushrooms for a garnish. Serve with either sour cream or Ranch dressing.
- When making the pierogis, nothing wrong with rolling out all the dough at the same time & cutting your circles with a cookie cutter. I just personally like dividing the dough so I don't have to do any re-rolling with the scraps. Just personal preference.