Monday, October 17, 2011

As promised...the chili and the pierogies, up close and personal

I was going to give you the blow-by-blow steps to pierogie and Polish chili euphoria (in which I wallowed this past Saturday) next weekend, but I have nothing inspiring to talk about with regards to movies today, so here you go.

The goal of any person entering into the Annual Chili Cookoff is to find a hook.  There are close to 50 entries into this contest, so fixing a pot of chili won't cut it.  I thought it might be fun to put a Polish spin on things, in honor of my husband's motherland.  I had a costume, but I won't torture you with it again.  I also played some polka music on the boom box and decorated my station with flags, Polish dolls and a scarf.

For the chili, I started with the Neely's recipe found here but edited it to suit my needs:

Pat's Famous Beef and Pork Chili

6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 cup beer (recommended: Budweiser)  (USED BLUE MOON)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed  (NO BEANS)
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed  (NO BEANS)
1 (24-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
Lime wedges, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
Sliced scallions, for garnish

Brown the bacon, then add the next eleven ingredients and cook until soft.  Add meat and cook.  Stir in the beer and the tomatoes, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours (I actually doubled the recipe and put all of this in the crock pot and cooked on low all day.)  A note for planning...there is alot of shopping required, so allow yourself plenty of time.

The chili has a kick to it, and those with sensitive lips popped a bead of sweat.  On my scale though, I would rate it as a 6 out of 10.

Now for the pierogies!  My favorite recipe is one I got out of Food and Wine in the December 2006 issue by Grant Achatz:


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk, beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients, kneading and adding a little flour if necessary.  Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes until it is room temperature.  I love this dough.  The sour cream makes the dough very soft and easy to roll.  You may need to sprinkle with flour to keep it from sticking.


3/4 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for coating
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Peel and cook the potatoes, then mash them with the sour cream, mustard, butter and salt and pepper (and cheese if you want).  (Great results if you put the potatoes through a ricer.)  Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and use a round cookie cutter to cut circles.  Put a small amount of the filling on the circle and fold the circle in half, pinching the edges together.  Boil the pierogies in water for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a skillet and saute in butter until it is slightly crispy.  Add bacon or onions on top for some extra flavor.

The uncooked pierogies can be frozen until you are ready to cook and eat.

Making pierogies can be a real pain in the ass, but I promise they are worth the effort. 

If any of you decide to try either of these recipes, let me know how it goes!



rhapsodyinbooks said...

I don't think those recipes would taste quite the sam without the serving woman in the shawl and flower diadem.

bermudaonion said...

Sounds delicious! Your chili was certainly unique - did you win?

Zibilee said...

Ok, this recipe seriously sounds delicious, and though it takes some time, I am sure, it sounds like it would beat the pants off of that boring old chili that I put in the crock pot. Going to be trying this recipe, and I will have to let you know how it goes! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Anna said...

Thanks for the recipe for pierogies! They sound delicious!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Oh delish! I absolutely love pierogies!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I love pierogies but have never made them from scratch. This chili sounds delicious! I love your honesty about making the pierogies! Most things that taste wonderful are a pain in the ass to make! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Anonymous said...

I am so hungry right now and your post has sent me over the edge!

Jenners said...

Bless you! I might even try making the pierogies. There is nothing like homemade pierogies. Gosh … I want some RIGHT NOW!

Alyce said...

I didn't know what pierogies were, but from looking at the recipe I'd think they were pretty tasty.

Unknown said...

I have never tried pierogies (I hadn't even heard of them a few months ago) but they do look good. I'll have to try making them next time I make chilli.

Anonymous said...

That chili sounds absolutely amazing! I love that you made it without beans (I enjoy beans, but my hubby hates them) and that you put it in the slow cooker! I can definitely do that. Perhaps I will make it this weekend since the weather is getting cooler. I am not an adventurous cook so I doubt I'll be trying the pierogies but maybe some day you can make them for book club? We'll have to pick a Polish-themed book sometime. :)

Darlene said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm definitely going to try making it. Perigees can be a lot of work but you're right, the homemade ones are so good. We make ours with potato and cottage cheese. I think they'd go great in this recipe.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Those look amazing! I'm so glad you outlined exactly how to make them. I'll have to try it when I feel ambitious.

Anonymous said...

The pierogies are making my mouth water. Do you deliver? ;-)