Ale Braised Venison Pierogis

Ohh, pierogis. Let me just get the disclaimer over up front – these take a long time. Like, you-want-to-dedicate-a-weekend-day-to-this-project type of long time. And it makes…a lot. When I originally tested this recipe, I had to make 4 batches of dough to use up all of the filling that I had made!

I don’t know what was making me feel inspired to make these, as I don’t think I had ever eaten a pierogi prior to making these. But I am so glad I had that itch, because I think they became my new favorite comfort food.

I can’t claim them to be authentic, but I can claim them to be SO good for the soul, as they taste like the perfect hearty, comforting stew, wrapped in a little dumpling. I was inspired by the turkey dressing I was also making at the same time for thanksgiving, so I used a spice blend reminiscent of what you will find in my family’s recipe.

Now, as I mentioned before, this makes a lot. But instead of cutting the filling recipe down, I decided to increase the amount of dough. This will take you a long time to make and fill. BUT, you will end up with enough to freeze and enjoy for the entire year, or give to friends and family.

To freeze, place the prepared pierogi on a sheet pan (with other prepped pierogis!), and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, and then move the batch together into a Ziploc bag or any other freezer safe container. You want to freeze them individually first so they don’t stick together (a pain in the butt when you go to get them out and cook them!).

When you’re ready, serve with a dollop of sour cream to dip.

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

For the filling:

  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 lb venison round steaks
  • 3 tbsp. + 7 tbsp. butter
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. ground sage
  • 1 bottle ale beer
  • 1tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup broth (I recommend homemade venison broth or stock, or store bought beef broth)

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:

For the meat filling:

In a large stock pot, heat 3 tbsp butter on high heat. Sear/brown the venison chops. Remove and set aside. Add diced veggies. Cook until browning, about 10 minutes. Add 7 tbsp. butter, 2 sprigs rosemary, 2 tbsp. sage, 1 bottle of ale, about 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Stir until butter melts. Add 3/4 cup broth. Add browned steaks. If the broth isn’t already at least halfway up the side of the steaks, add more until it is. Cover on low heat and braise, cooking until tender, about 3 hours. When done, shred the meat. Mix the veggies and the remaining cooking liquid with about 1/2 the shredded meat and process in a blender. Mix the remaining meat with the meat and veggie mixture.

For the dough:

Heat butter and water over medium heat until melted. Add to the flour along with the salt and combine until a flakey dough forms. Add in egg. Knead the dough- it should be nice and soft. If it’s dry, add more water. Cut into two even pieces and place in a damp paper towel to rest for 30 minutes.

To make the pierogis:

When the dough is done resting, roll the two pieces then cut into pieces about the size of a silver dollar. Roll the piece into a ball, then press flat into a circle about the size of a grapefruit. I highly recommend a tortilla press if you have one.

Put about a spoonful of mixture on the flattened dough, then fold in half and seal the dough.

To cook, boil until the pierogis float plus 1 minute. Then, heat some butter on medium high-heat, and quickly fry for about 30s-1 min on each side. Enjoy with sour cream!


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