One of the wonderful things about living in Cleveland is exploring all of the wonderful ethnic restaurants, and experimenting with old-fashioned ethnic foods that are new to our family. For most of our friends and neighbors, there is nothing new or exciting about pierogies - they have been enjoying these during Lent and at other family holidays for generations. But for those of us who have transplanted to the area, discovering pierogies for the first time, and more specifically discovering the absolute deliciousness of HOMEMADE pierogies, is a wonderful treat!
One of my good friends shared her family recipe and the history of pierogies in her family - absolutely had me in awe! Linda hosts periodic pierogie parties - lining up workers in her beautiful kitchen - each one trained for their task, and they pump out 400 of these during an exhausting day of flour, fun and memories.
These are the most beautiful homemade pierogies I have ever seen....or enjoyed! They are pierogie perfection - simple and each bite filled with flavor.
The hard and time-consuming task is making these beauties, but once you have a taste of the finished product, you will always want more! (And I'm guessing that a supply waiting in the freezer makes everyone REALLY happy!)
I started by making a batch of Apple Kielbasa, but you can also simply saute your kielbasa and onions if you prefer, and serve with a side of natural applesauce.
Apple Kielbasa is so easy to make - slice up two pounds of your favorite smoked kielbasa and brown in a skillet. Mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar into 3 cups of unsweetened applesauce. Layer the kielbasa, onions and applesauce mixture in a slow cooker; set to low and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
If you are using frozen homemade pierogies, thaw by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes. When they rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot, layer the pierogies in a single layer and saute until golden and just starting to brown a little; flip and saute the other side until golden.
And now is the best part! Serve your wonderful, golden and hot pierogies with hot Apple Kielbasa, wonderfully flavored onions, and a dollop of fresh sour cream. You can always garnish with some snipped chives.
Even after my "tentative" eaters had tried a bite, they were scrambling for more....and begging for me to make these again soon.
Hope that you enjoy this wonderful and old-fashioned homemade treat as much as we did!