A modern approach to a traditional dish

Pierogi has been around for centuries. A staple of Eastern European countries initially, they have been taken up by the French, the Italians, American immigrants, and now modern chefs.

Inspired by dishes created at the Loaded Pierogi in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, this dish is a fusion of Italian, Slovak, and American tastes. My wife says I was ahead of my time as I’ve been “bastardizing” traditional Pierogi recipes for about twenty years (my ex-mother-in-law was a traditional Czech, and my exposure to many European staples emanates from her table). Although the basic potato pierogi done in onions and bacon and topped with sour cream, is exquisite in its simple form, I liked the idea of adding sauces, sauteeing and baking (instead of boiling and grilling), mixing sweet and sour… and the list goes on.

So now that it’s a modern trend and no longer a sin, I don’t mind sharing my own creations. Sorry Bubba!

INGREDIENTS

10 pierogi frozen (making your own is an option, but a time-consuming one) I prefer potato filled to any other. LEave them in the fridge or wrapped on the counter until thawed.

1/2 cup tomato soup
1/2 cup marinara sauce
2 fresh tomatoes (skin removed) crushed
1/4 cup red wine
dash of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Italian salad dressing (I use Parmesan and Garlic- flavored)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tbsp each pepper and salt
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 tbsp marjoram
1/4 tbsp oregano (if you are missing one, put a 1/2 tbsp of the other)
If you have fresh oregano, use 4 sprigs instead of the dried ingredients

3 rashers bacon, cooked, wrapped in paper towels, and crushed when dried
1/2 onion, chopped

METHOD

  1. Cook onions first, to a golden hue
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and carrots and cook for 3 min, then add the soup and marinara. Bring to a boil
  3. While boiling add the paste and wine, then simmer for 10 min
  4. Add marjoram, oregano, salt, pepper, and continue to simmer for 5 min
  5. Meanwhile, cook bacon to a hardy crispness. Remove half of the grease
  6. Ensure the pierogi are thawed, not frozen and saute in the bacon grease until they firm up and brown slightly. Add the salad dressing and continue sauteeing for 10 min until pierogi are puffed up and browned

Place pierogi on dish side by side and pour sauce over them. Sprinkle crushed bacon over the sauce and serve. A nice tomato salad (Caprese or feta and tomato work nicely) can be served as a side.

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.

 

 

Advertisements