Pierogi with mushrooms and sauerkraut

Pierogi with mushrooms and sauerkraut

Pierogi z kiszonej kapusty i grzybami

Borsch, Vodka and Tears
Bonnie Savage

Porcini (ceps in French) mushrooms are truly wonderful. They have such a distinct and pervasive flavour. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them fresh in other parts of the world. I remember working for Rowley Leigh in his London restaurant — he had me sauté sliced fresh porcini in quite a lot of olive oil, then sauté cooked kipfler potatoes in the same oil. He spoke in rather plummy tones and in sound bites, somehow both wry and casually belligerent, so I’ll quote him: ‘You’ll find that the mushrooms flavour the potatoes in the most delightful way.’

In fact, the flavour of the mushrooms was completely present in the potatoes and there was no need to serve them together at all, though we did. That’s why the word ‘mushroom’ appears first on this recipe title even though it only contains a small amount of dried porcini.


Quantity Ingredient
Polish dumplings

Mushroom and sauerkraut filling

Quantity Ingredient
50 grams dried porcini mushrooms
150 grams sauerkraut, (choose a good-quality Polish brand)
1 tablespoon butter
or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped

To garnish

Quantity Ingredient
200ml vegetable oil
80 grams dried breadcrumbs


  1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in 125 ml water for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. Drain them, squeezing out any excess liquid, and reserve the soaking liquid in a saucepan. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice out of the sauerkraut — this can be saved and used as a hangover cure or can be used to sour dishes like Hunter’s Stew. Chop the squeezed sauerkraut a few times and add it to the pan with the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Add the sauerkraut and mushroom mixture to the onion, stirring to combine. If excess liquid leaches from the mixture it will ruin the dumplings so make sure it is cooked until quite dry. Season with salt and a little black pepper, to taste. Once the filling has cooled, make the pierogi according to the directions in the Pierogi dough recipe.
  4. To make the garnish, mix together the oil and breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  5. To serve, cook the pierogi in boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Working in batches so they fit in a single layer, add them to a frying pan over medium–high heat with a commensurate amount of the breadcrumb mix and sauté them for about 3 minutes to cook them a little and coat them with the garnish. Serve immediately, spooning any leftover breadcrumbs on top.
Vodka and Tears
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