How to Make Meat Pierogis
This food is the best ever created. I have been eating these since I was a kid and still love them. My kids LOVE them. They gobble them up and ask for seconds and thirds. There is no finer food than meat with dough. Seriously. Whether they are just boiled or also fried, they are so yummy. They are a true comfort food. You can make them a bit healthier by the meat you use and the type of butter (or butter substitute), but honestly, I am convinced this was created to make people happy!
Below is the recipe my mom uses and I use. It is a LOT of work, so make a LOT when you make it. You can freeze some for later. They are worth it.
- 3-4 lbs meat, any type, any kind
- 2 cups onions, carrots, mushrooms, chopped
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- pinch salt and papper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 3 TBSP butter
- pinch salt
- 4 cups flour
- Meat filling instructions: Broil, roast, or bake meat until done (all cooking methods work). During baking, you can add carrots, onions, bay leaf, mushrooms, salt, and pepper for flavoring. Once meat is cooked, let cool. Drain liquids and remove veggies and bay leaf. Doing this the day before is preferable. If the meat mixture is too hot, it will make the dough break.
- Once the meat is cool, grind it up with a meat grinder, adding vegetables if desired, and some of the liquid from baking. Add dry breadcrumbs to meat mixture and mix together.
- Dough Instructions: Mix eggs, water, butter, and salt together in a bowl. Add flour to mixture. Mix everything together. If you want your dough more buttery, you can add more butter to taste.
- Knead dough on floured surface until pliable. Add more flour/water as needed. Let dough rest covered in bowl for about 30 minutes before using.
- Roll dough out on floured surface until thin and pliable. Roll from center to outside. Once dough is rolled out, use a clean glass to make circles with the dough.
- After rolling out dough, cut circles in dough with glass. Spoon filling into circles with spoon and pinch ends together. Ends can be fluted with fork for decoration. Place pierogis on floured trays or on trays with waxed/parchment paper.
- Boil large pot of water. Water may be salted as desired. When water is at a rolling boil, drop pierogi into water. Cook until pierogis float to top. Can cook for 1-2 minutes more while floating at top. Take pierogi out with slotted spoon. Place cooked pierogi in buttered dish to prevent sticking. Top with desired toppings.
- If you want to make your pierogi even tastier, you can fry them after boiling. To do that, melt butter in frying pan. Add boiled pierogi to frying pan. Cook until golden, flipping as needed. Pierogis may also be fried without boiling first. Frying time may be longer and more butter may be needed for frying.
There are many wonderful pierogi toppings out there. Here are a few of my favorite:
crumbled bacon bits (the ABSOLUTE BEST EVER!)
Depending on the taste of your meat, you can use any of the above and they will make your pierogi even more incredible!
A Note about the Meats:
You can use any type of meat in this recipe. As my mom ages, she has been using more chicken and turkey to make her pierogi. You can use beef, veal, or pork. You can mix meats (if you have a bunch of leftovers, you can mix them all up). They pretty much all come out wonderful.
Now, my favorite one have always been beef, because honestly, what better tasting meat is there? But, to be healthier, I have been substituting some chicken or turkey for the beef. It does change the taste slightly, but once you sprinkle some toppings (namely bacon bits) on top, and fry it up a bit, it is awesome!