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Gretchen’s Table: Barbecued pork pierogies

Gretchen’s Table: Barbecued pork pierogies


Pierogies are pretty easy to make at home because dumpling dough is softer and more pliable than pasta dough and therefore easier to roll out.

There’s no yeast or rising time — just a brief resting period. Another plus: Making your own dumplings puts you in the driver’s seat with the fillings. The classic mashed potato and cheese ‘rogi is but one option.

Why not try your hand at pulled pork pierogies? This recipe comes together fast and easy in a slow cooker.

To make things even easier, consider breaking up the pierogi process into stages. Make the pork a day before you craft the dough so when it comes time to roll, stuff and pinch the dumplings, you’re ready to rock and roll.

This recipe makes a lot more pulled pork than you’ll need for the pierogies so use the leftovers for sandwiches or nachos.

I served dumplings with a drizzle of barbecue sauce, Southern-style coleslaw, and homemade sweet and spicy pickles.

Barbecued Pork Pierogies

For filling:

  • 3-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

For dough:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

For serving:

  • Butter or olive oil, for frying
  • Cabbage coleslaw
  • Sweet and spicy pickles

Place the pork roast into a slow cooker. Pour in barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar and chicken broth. Stir in brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, thyme and pepper flakes.

Cover and cook on high until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours. Allow to cool to room temperature. (This will make more pork than you need for pierogies; use the leftovers for sandwiches.)

While pork is cooking, make dough: Mix together flour and salt in a bowl with your hand. Add the egg to the flour and combine. The dough will be quite clumpy at this stage. Work in the sour cream and soft butter until the dough comes together in a slightly rough, slightly sticky ball.

Using just your fingertips, knead and fold the dough without adding additional flour until the dough becomes less sticky but still quite moist. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes or up to 48 hours.

When pork is done and you’re ready to fill pierogies, roll the rested dough onto a floured surface to ѯ8-inch thickness. Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds. (I used a pint glass dipped in flour so it wouldn’t stick.)

Brush the edges of the dough with water and place a heaping teaspoon of pork filling in the middle of each round. Fold up the edges and press together using your fingers or a fork. (At this point, the pierogies can be frozen for up to 4 weeks, refrigerated overnight or cooked in a large stockpot of boiling salted water.)

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pierogies, 10 at a time, until they float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and fry in a little olive oil or butter until brown and crispy on both sides. Serve warm with additional barbecue sauce, coleslaw and pickles.

Makes at least 2 dozen pierogies.

Recipe adapted from:

Gretchen’s Table is a Tribune News Service column from Gretchen McKay, a feature writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The mother of five has won numerous national awards for her food writing and features. Email her at and check out her “Cooking With Gretchen” videos on YouTube.

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