Daring Cooks Augusti: Pierogi

Woohoo, the Deer Eaters are finally Daring Cooks again. Sorry about neglecting the blog so much lately, there simply has been too much other stuff going on. And what better way is there to finally be back in the Daring business, than to totally misread the challenge?
The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.
For some reason (and I can't understand why, because it's all there, right in the first few paragraphs of the challenge presentation post on the private Daring Cooks' forum) I misunderstood the challenge. Not going to elaborate on why and how, but the fact is that we didn't make the challenge recipe. Sorry about that! We did, however, make pierogi. Two different kinds. I hope that makes up for misreading the challenge.

First up, Karelian pierogi, a Finnish specialty. We made these because they're delicious and because Markus is half Finnish, so that kind of represents his locale, or something. Anyway, maybe they're not pierogi in the challenge sense of the word (Wikipedia calls them Karelian pasties) but let's not dwell on that. These pierogi are made from a thin rye crust and filled with rice porridge. I know I know, it sounds weird and to be honest not very tasty, but trust me, they are good! The hardest part about making Karelian pierogi is cooking the rice porridge - it takes forever and the porridge always get burnt in the bottom of the pot. Luckily, there's a handy solution for that in Swedish grocery stores: ready made rice porridge in sausage form!

No it's not really a sausge, just rice porridge packaged in a plastic tube.
By the way, you can get yellow pea soup packaged the same way.

The next pierogi we made were more traditional, although oven-baked instead of boiled. For that local touch we filled them with ground moose and chantarelles. A note on the recipe, we found these a bit dry, so if you want to make them you might want to add some sort of liquid to the filling.

To see what the other Daring Cooks made, head over to the Daring Kitchen where you can also find the original recipe!

Karelian Pierogi

makes about 20

50 g butter
5 dl rye and wheat flour mix (Sw. rågsikt)
1½ tsp salt
2 dl water

For the rice porridge filling:
1½ dl round grain rice (Sw. grötris)
½ tsp salt
3 dl water
7 dl milk
...or use ready-made rice porridge (Sw. risgrynsgröt)

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp water

Start with making the filling. Let rice, salt and water simmer under a lid for ten minutes without stirring. Add the milk, stir and bring to a boil. Simmer very slowly under a lid for about 40 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn't burn! Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
OR, as I said, skip this step and use ready-made!

Heat the oven to 175-300°C.

Cut the butter into small cubes, add the flour and use you fingers to make a crumbly dough. Add salt and water and work into a uniform dough. If it's to loose, add more flour, if it's too hard, add more water. Spread some flour over your work surface, and roll the dough out into a long roll. Cut it into about 20 pieces. Use a rolling pin to turn each piece into an thin oval. Put a heap of rice porridge in the middle and fold up the edges around it (see picture). Transfer to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes, lower the heat if it looks like they get done too fast.

Melt the butter, add the water and heat. Brush the piergoi with melted butter as soon as they are out of the oven. Let them cool covered with a cloth (although I think they are best eaten warm).

Pierogi with moose and chantarelle filling

makes about 12

25 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
3 dl luke warm water
2 tbsp oil
1 egg
9 dl flour

For the filling:
2 yellow onions (medium sized)
Oil and butter
100 g fresh chanterelles
500 g ground moose
2 tbsp tomato puré
1 tbsp concentrated vegetable stock
black pepper
1 egg for the egg wash

Crumble the yeast into a big bowl, add salt and some of the water and stir to dissolve. Add the rest of the water, oil, egg and finally the flour. Work into a dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Finely chop the onions. Cut down the chanterelles into smaller pieces. Heat oil and butter in a pan and fry the onions and chanterelles until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add a little more oil and butter and brown the ground meat. Add the onions and chanterelles, tomato puré and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool.

Heat the oven to 225°C. Knead the dough a little and roll it out into 12 large ovals. Put 3-4 tbsp of filling on the middle of the dough. Brush the edges lighly with water to make the dough stick together, fold the dough over the filling and press down with a fork to seal and make a decorative pattern around the edges. Transfer to parchment covered baking sheets and let the pierogi rest for about 25 minutes. Brush with egg wash. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes. Let the pierogi cool under a cloth. They freeze really well, just heat them a little in the oven before eating.


  1. These both look great! It's fun to see the variations on similar foods in different cultures. I had never seen either of these before, so I'm happy you mixed up the challenge!!

  2. What a fabulous filling! Moose and Chanterelles!! I wish I could taste them

  3. I think it looks like a very happy misreading of the challenge. Great local ingredients, and the second time I've come across something Karelian lately. I now have to visit to get rice pudding in a tube!

  4. Misread or not, you certainly came up with some great looking pierogi! That rice pudding/porridge sounds quite intriguing... I never would have thought touse it as a filling...! Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Rice porridge filling - wow! :) Will have to try it. Thank you for taking part this month.

    Cheers. Anula.

  6. Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsRecipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 20-24 Éclairs)• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds bypositioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets withwaxed or parchment paper.2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.