Day two set up
This is the messy part so make sure you have at least three hours set aside so that you do not have to answer the phone or the door covered in flour or dough. To make sure you are set up you need a table or counter space large enough to hold 100 perogies (not touching). Cover the space with tea towels or a table cloth and have enough other cloths to keep the perogies covered. Have a large pot of water ready on the stove for boiling that can hold 12 to 15 perogies per batch. Get out enough pans or cookie sheets to hold the perogies that you want to freeze (again not touching). You will also need a glass or can to cut the circles of dough. We use a 3 ¼” can as it cuts better than a glass.
Making the Perogies
Flour your work space. Cut the dough into quarters and re-wrap the part you are not using so it does not dry out. Roll out the first quarter as evenly as possible so the dough is fairly thin. Use the can to cut 22-24 circles of dough. Collect the extra pieces of dough. This is one of the difficult parts. While mom says never to reroll the extra pieces because the dough will get too tough it is also very difficult to shape circles with the remaining pieces by hand like she does. We did use a rolling pin a bit but as little as possible.
If you can have two people working together this is where it comes in handy – one to roll the filling into balls (just smaller then a ping pong ball) and the other to pinch the perogies. If you are working yourself, roll all of the balls first and wash your hands before starting to pinch. Otherwise the filling makes your hands too sticky. Place the filling balls on top of each dough circle. Pick up a circle and hold it in one hand. Push the filling down a bit and fold the circle in half. Flour your fingers and pinch the edges of the dough shut making two or three passes to ensure it is sealed. And Viola! A Perogy. Now do this exact process 100 more times. We wish that Kate our 10 year old niece was here because she loves this part. Lay the finished perogies on the cloths and cover immediately so they do not dry out.
Boiling & Freezing
You can now freeze the perogies like this but they will likely stick together. We have done it both ways and find that boiling and flash freezing, while more time consuming initially is better in the end. So now you need a pot of rapidly boiling water, a collander to use for draining and some oil (canola or vegetable). Yes oil. We never said that perogies were not fattening. Boil the perogies in batches of 12 to 15 depending on the size of your pot – they need space – and they take about three minutes (be sure to stir so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot), or they are done about one minute after they start to float. Scoop into a colander, drain, drizzle with oil and stir to coat. Dump onto waiting pans or cookie sheets and arrange so as not touching.
This is also a good time to do some quality control tasting. Mix a few perogies with a scoop of the bacon/onion mixture to taste just to make sure.
Once all of the perogies are boiled and oiled and set on pans (not touching) they can then be frozen which will take 3 or 4 hours. One frozen they can be bagged in freezer bags. A small size ziplock freezer bag will hold 8 – 10 perogies.
Serve and Enjoy
The reserved bacon and onion mixture can be poured over hot perogies and served immediately or it can also be frozen and reheated with the perogies on the day you wish to serve them.
While we do not cook often we have done some cooking this Christmas season and will be enjoying a somewhat traditional Christmas with some friends on January 6th (Ukrainian Christmas Eve). And we actually had fun doing it. After years of watching Mom Knight and Baba Muzychka do this again and again there may be a few things we did naturally but forgot to write down. Feel free to ask us a question which we will in turn ask to someone who knows better than us.