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We tap Chef Jonathan Chovanacek's take on his Grandma's recipe.
A few years ago we asked some of our fave chefs in the West to share with us their most memorable family recipes from their youth. The response from our readers was overwhelming and it became one of our most popular food features of the year. One of our favourites is this intergenerational collab between chef Jonathan Chovancek and his great-grandmother.
This is a recipe I have renamed for my great-grandmother Anastasia Yunick, who immigrated to Canada with her husband, Anton, from the village of Tsekaniv in Western Ukraine. I have adapted it to include a spicy chorizo in the filling, as that is what I love to eat—and, as I am definitely not a traditionalist, I love what the spice does in this recipe.
1 kg Russet potatoes
1 cup ground pork
1 cup ground chorizo sausage
1 small onion, finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, whole
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice. to taste
1 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
Boil potatoes in their skins with fresh bay leaf and garlic until cooked. Drain and peel. Allow to steam out for 10 minutes, then put through a ricer.
Sauté onion and two meat minces together. Add vinegar to deglaze, then cook down until meat is cooked through and tender. Add a little water if it gets too dry. Add potato mixture and gently stir together. Season with salt and a little lemon juice. Let cool.
To make the dough, use a stand mixer or a wooden spoon to combine ingredients. Hand knead for 5-10 minutes to develop gluten structure. Allow to rest 1 hour or overnight, refrigerated.
READ MORE: 8 Ways to Help the People of Ukraine
Roll out dough into 3-mm sheets using a floured pasta roller or rolling pin. Use a 12-cm round pastry cutter or the rim of a small bowl to cut into rounds. Place 1½ tbsp of filling in the centre of each round and pull one side over the top to create a cute little dumpling. Be creative with your shaping—I like to have a flat bottom and a crimped top. Use the back of a fork to press and decorate the round edge. Use a little water to provide the seal.
Steam perogies in a bamboo steamer or poach in salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain. Sauté in brown butter, basil, red onion and fresh tomatoes.
Makes 10-12 medium perogies.
Originally published February 28, 2022.
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