As I mentioned in my Polish Inspired Lemon Cookies post, I love Eastern European food. It’s an interest I’ve had since I started visiting Slovakia 4 years ago. So when I saw a Pierogi stand at the Good Food Summer Show last weekend, I was definitely interested to find out more.
But these were Pierogi unlike any that I’d seen before. The Pierogi I know are little filled dumplings, made from an unleavened dough and then boiled or steamed. These were large, baked and looked a little bit (whisper it!) like pasties.
I was intrigued by the idea of baked pierogi so I stopped by their stand for a quick chat. Old Granary Pierogi is based in Hereford and is run by Emilia and Jacek. They sell their pierogi at a wide range of events, you can find details on the Old Granary Pierogi Facebook page or follow them on Twitter (@).
Emilia explained to me that these baked pierogi come from the Northern part of Poland where her family is from. Emilia and Jacek’s pierogi are wrapped in a yeast based dough, and then filled with a huge range of gourmet fillings. The fillings include meaty varieties such as Chicken, Leek & Mustard, specials like the Beef Steak with Porcini, Red Onion & Sherry, and vegetarian options like Butternut Squash, Herbs & Feta.
I was really keen to try the baked pierogi out, so I took one home with me to eat when I wasn’t quite so full from trying out all of the goodies at the show! I asked Emilia to recommend a filling to try, and she didn’t hesitate to recommend the Bigos filling. Bigos is a traditional Polish hunter’s stew, made with sauerkraut which gives it a slightly sour flavour.
Now, I have to admit that I struggled with photographing this little pierogi – it was difficult to do it justice. You see, while it might not look particularly exciting in my photograph, the flavour is absolutely fantastic!
The yeast dough is both crumbly and tender, and full of flavour – even the crimped bit around the edge, which I usually end up leaving when I have a pasty! And the filling was even better – rich, meaty stew with the distinctive taste of sauerkraut. I will definitely be looking up a Bigos recipe to try for myself soon.
I had foolishly offered to let Mark share my pierogi so that he could try it as well. I really regretted that decision, because it was so delicious I wanted to eat it all myself!
I am going to various foodie events in the Midlands area over the next few months, and will be keeping a close eye on the Old Granary Pierogi page to see if they will be there. If you go to an event and see their stand there, I really recommend trying out a Pierogi for yourself!