Jordan is the new kid on the block here in the Dunedin Industrial Design team. Having spent the last couple of years travelling he has returned to New Zealand to learn the ropes on cooking products.
“Visiting my Babcia could almost be completely described through taste and smell. Her effortless preparation of the most amazing culinary creations would have me anxious long before arrival. Pierogies are a traditional Polish dish akin to New Zealand’s meat pie, with as many delicious variants. While I have resigned to the fact that I will never achieve my Grandmother’s legendary cooking status, this appropriation of her recipe has served me well, albeit a tad nontraditional. Stashing a few of these in the freezer over the weekend is a great way to ensure a tasty lunch on those workday mornings when time is a little tight (all of them).”
Makes 8-12 depending on sizeFilling (meat)
500g gravy beef (or any stewing alternative)
3-4 brown onions
Large handful of mushrooms (Button or Portobello)
3-4 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup pinenuts
½ cup cranberries
3-6 small potatoes
180g cottage cheese
Fresh chopped mint
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room-temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
150g sour cream (Or 1/3 cup lukewarm water)
1. Fill a large pot roughly halfway with water and bring to the boil. Cut the beef into small pieces and 2 onions into thick rings. Place in the pot with the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
2. Let this simmer for 3-4hrs or until the meat is tender. Once cooked drain the water (keep for soup stock!) and set the meat aside.
3. Dice the remaining onions and mushrooms and place in a frying pan with the butter over a medium heat. Once the onions are golden and mushrooms have softened, place into a food processor with the meat and blend until shredded. Add the pinenuts and cranberries and give the mix one final blend to break things up.
4. For the potato filling wash and boil the potatoes, making sure you do not cook them fully. Mash with cottage cheese and mint and season with salt and pepper.
5. For the dough, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Knead the dough until it is well combined and firm and let it sit for as long as your patience allows. Roll the dough as thin as you would pasta and use a round cutter or cup to cut rounds (8-10 cms). Spoon the filling into the center of the dough and pinch closed using milk to bind, making sure they are airtight. Place all the finished pierogies into a pot of boiling water. Once cooked they will float.
6. If you’re hungry place them under the grill with a brush of butter to crisp, otherwise freeze for a weekday treat. Serve with sour cream or chutney.