Sloppy Pierogi Nirvana
Despite being given broad but sincere instructions, I haven't been able to duplicate "sloppy cabbage pierogis". With eyes shut, a small forkfull tastes like the best-ever cabbage pierogi, but the actual dish resembles a bow-tie pasta conglomeration. Here is what I'm told to do:
Pulse carefully so as not to mince too finely raw cabbage. Then boil for 5 - 10 minutes - - no more then drain. Set aside for something else an entire package of well-cooked bacon, but use all of its grease to slowly cook the drained cabbage. Meantime, cook bow tie pasta and also boil Blue Seal kielbasa - - each in separate pots. After it's cooked, slice the kielbasa into small pieces. When the bow tie pasta is cooked, add to it the cooked cabbage and kielbasa pieces and serve.
With eyes shut this attempt produced a predominantly kielbasa-tasting dish. Delicious, but not the same. Any suggestions to achieve cabbage pierogi nirvana would be greatly appreciated - - thanks!
It sounds like you are making a version of lazanki. Never heard of sloppy pierogi. I make a vegetarian version, but I guess you could add meat. The trick is to cook the cabbage before you slice it, so that it does not get waterlogged. Drain and pat dry, then chop, but not too finely. I mix it with a lot of onions that have been slowly browned in lots of butter. Then saute the mix for about 15-25 minutes until the cabbage begins to color and the volume is reduced by half. Add lots of salt and pepper and mix with your cooked noodles. Put in buttered casserole dish and bake until top crisps up, about 25 minutes.
Thank you for the tips. I never heard of the name "sloppy pierogi" either, but that is how the dish was introduced to me. I googled "lazanki" and do see how you have connected it to this dish. As for cooking the cabbage, you mention the trick is to cook before slicing. Does that mean I remove just the outer layers and then plunge the whole cabbage into the pot, cover it with water that is salted and then boil until almost tender? About how long should it be boiled? Thanks again!
I just quarter the head of cabbage and drop the wedges into boiling salted water for about 5-10 minutes. It should still be quite firm, but be careful if you use a summer cabbage rather than a winter one, as the summer cabbages get very soft very fast. This time of the year , it should be no problem, but in the early fall, I always ask the vendor what kind of cabbage it is. You do not want to cook thoroughly just yet, as it will finish cooking when you saute and bake. If I have them, I like to add some reconstituted dried Polish mushrooms to the mix. They're earthy and delicious, but very expensive and hard to find unless you are near a thriving Polish community. I've had some success with dried porcini, but they are not the same.