Late Ukrainian Christmas Pyrogi Feast

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UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS – LATE

This is an older post that got back burnered while catering was booming over January and February. Now that I have a few days to tie up my loose ends, this post was top of my to-do list.

I dug deep for these recipes. Got ahold of old family recipes and tips that I turned into a delightful feast for a few friends of mine back in January. Many beers were drank!

January 7th is the start of Ukrainian Christmas. Almost every year for as long as I can remember my family and I have gotten together for a feast! We eat all kinds of Pyrogi, cabbage rolls, Pelemni, braised cabbage all smothered in butter sour cream and bacon!! Never said it was a healthy holiday.

I have but together some recipes from my mothers and grandmothers recipes. These are a few of my favorite Ukrainian dishes I LOVE to eat!!

RECIPES

PYROGI DOUGH

Yield about 40

1 egg

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 cups lukewarm water

2 tsp oil

4 cups flour

1. Combine water and egg

2. Mix dry ingredients, making a well in the center

3. Combine wet into dry and mix until a soft dough is formed

4. Kneed for about 2 minutes to develop the gluten

5. Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough ball in flipping over to get oil allover the dough.

6. Place a damp towel over dough and let it rest for 90 minutes

MASH POTATO BASE

Yield 5 cups

5 russet potato – peeled cut into 3” chunks

½ lb butter – sliced

1. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 8-10 minutes

2. Drain water very well

3. Place potatoes onto a sheet try and into a 350F oven for 15 minutes – to remove as much moisture as possible form the potatoes

4. Add butter and mash until a ultra smooth silky texture

FILLINGS
POTATO CHEDDAR

600g grated cheddar cheese

1 cup mashed potato

1. Mix well with your hands

2. Season with salt and pepper

POTATO ONION

1.5 cups mashed potato

1 bunch green onion, or more if you like them oniony– green part only – thinly sliced

1. Mix well with your hands

2. Season with salt and pepper

COTTAGE CHEESE AND KALE

½ cup mashed potatoes

500g dry cottage cheese

1 head kale – stems removed – thinly sliced – blanched and water removed

1. Mix well with your hands

2. Season with salt and pepper

SAUERKRAUT

400g Sauerkraut

¼ cup sour cream

1 tbs bacon fat

1. Mix well with your hands

2. Season with salt and pepper

SIDES

BRAISED BEER AND MUSTARD CABBAGE

1 head white cabbage – core removed and thinly sliced

1 cup white sugar

¼ cup white wine vinegar

1 bottle beer (ales work well)

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

2 tbs yellow mustard seeds

1 tbs brow mustard seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 bay leaves

¼ cup butter

1 tbs canola oil

¼ cup chopped parsey

1. Dry roast the seeds in medium deep pot until very fragrant, about 3 mins on high heat.

2. Remove pot from pan add oil and swirl. Add butter; keep it moving around so it doesn’t burn.

3. Add cabbage, sugar, beer, mustard and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low. Put a lid on the pot and set on low heat for 10 mins. After 10 mins stir cabbage. Sugar should be all dissolved by now and cabbage starting to wilt.

4. Cover with lid and simmer for 30 more minutes, or longer. The longer you go the better. Don’t go over 2 ours tho or cabbage will start to break down too much and become mush.

5. After you have stewed cabbage to your liking remove lid and season with salt and pepper.

6. For thicker gravy allow cabbage to simmer with the lid off for 15 mins. Sauce will reduce and turn into a beautiful gravy.

7. Once reduced stir in chopped parsley and serve.


PELEMNI

2 lbs ground beef

2 onions – diced

6 cloves garlic

2 tbs bacon fat

1/3-cup heavy cream

1 tbs cracked pepper

1. Brown off meat – remove fat – set aside.

2. Using the same pan sauté onions in bacon fat with minced garlic. Sauté on high heat for 6 mins. You dot want any colour on the onions. Just enough time to soften them and start to become translucent.

3. Add beef to onions and mix well.

4. Add cream and reduce heat to low. Stew beef for 5 mins.

5. Turn heat off and season with cracked pepper.

– I break tradition and serve the Pelemni as a side dish. Traditionally you would make dumplings with the Pyrogi Dough and cook off very similar to Pyrogi.

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