Thanksgiving should bring with it the requirement for stretchy pants as it never fails…you finish your Thanksgiving meal and your pants are über tight from the mass amount of food you just ate. You then find a cozy place to rest while the uncomfortable feeling of fullness subsides. Why subject yourself to such torture? Because you’ve waited all year to eat this vast expanse of food, and this special day only comes once a year! Totally worth it!
With so many flavors and such a large variety of food, the gluttony that ensues during Thanksgiving is coupled with a time of thanks alongside loved ones. This holiday is a day that brings people together, and with it, compassion. Why not celebrate it by showing compassion for the turkeys and other animals? Below is a dish I created to encompass many people’s favorites: garlicky mashed potatoes and stuffing, enveloped in a fresh pasta shell, then drizzled with a savory brown gravy.
Pierogi are traditionally boiled, then baked or fried in butter and onions. To save you some work, however, I’ve just included the boiling step as they are delicious as is! If you want to fry them up after boiling, feel free to do so as this would contribute an added dimension of flavor. These pierogi are worth the time and they freeze well if you want to prepare them in advance.
Garlicky Mashed Potato and Stuffing Pierogi
Yields 60-65 pierogi
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup non-dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup + 1-2 tablespoons water
2 peeled and cubed russet potatoes
¾ cup vegetable broth
1½ teaspoons garlic salt
1½ cups unflavored dry stuffing mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup regular unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
For the dough, mix together flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a separate large bowl combine sour cream and olive oil; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add dry ingredients and stir until mixture becomes crumbly. Slowly add water, 1 cup, then 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir just until mixture comes together into a non-sticky ball.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough until elastic and slightly firm, approximately 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.
For the filling, place cubed potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, discarding water.
In a large bowl, combine cooked potatoes, vegetable broth and garlic salt, mashing until smooth. Fold in dried stuffing and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add celery and onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, sage, rosemary and thyme, and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add to potato mixture and stir to combine; set aside.
On a clean, flat, lightly floured work surface, roll out dough until approximately 1/8-inch thick. Using a circular cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut out 3-inch circles. Place a tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle, allowing at least 1/2-inch of dough around. Moisten the outer edge of each circle with water, and fold dough in half over the filling. Using the rim of a glass or a fork, crimp the rounded edge of each circle to seal the pierogi.
For the gravy, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add flour and stir to form a roux; mixture will be dry and crumbly. Whisk in vegetable broth, almond milk, soy sauce, and vinegar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, stirring continuously for 2-5 more minutes, or until gravy has thickened slightly. Remove from heat.
Bring a large pot of water and 1 teaspoon olive oil to a gentle boil over medium heat. Carefully slide the pierogi in and boil for 7-9 minutes, or until all pierogi float to the top. Remove pierogi with a slotted spoon and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle with gravy and serve.
NOTE: To freeze pierogi for future use, prepare a cookie sheet by covering with a piece of wax paper. Place pierogi 1-2 inches apart on cookie sheet and store in freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until solid. Store frozen pierogi in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.