When I found some wild honey mushrooms, armillaria mellea, I looked around to see if I could find any traditional recipes for the mushroom: Sure enough, it seems they eat them in Ukraine, often as a filling for classic pierogi.
I love these little dumplings, which, like Russian pelmeni, are relatively large, relatively thick, variations on Italian ravioli or tortellini. Pierogi are a sort of hybrid between pasta and a Cornish pasty, or a Spanish empanada. Whatever, they’re all good. Many Ukrainian recipes for pierogi include sour cream in the dough, and then again as an accompaniment, so I’ve done so here.
I realize finding honey mushrooms is largely a matter of luck, but they are very similar to the shiitake mushrooms you can find in the store. But honestly? Use any mushroom you have available.
How many pierogi does this recipe make? Depends on how large you make them. But no matter how large they are, this should make enough to feed 4-6 hearty eaters.
- 1 pound honey mushrooms (or other mushrooms), chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2/3 cup mushroom, chicken or beef broth
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup whole wheat, spelt, barley or acorn flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Make the filling first. Get a large saute pan hot over high heat and add the chopped mushrooms. Shake the pan a bit to keep the mushrooms from sticking, and dry saute them until they release their water. Keep cooking them until most of the water has evaporated, then add the butter and onions and saute 5-6 minutes.
- Sprinkle some salt over everything and add the garlic. Mix well and saute another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the broth and bring to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to medium-high and let this simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. If you are using honey mushrooms, they have a thickening effect and will make a sauce in the pan. This is normal. Let this simmer for at least 15 minutes, adding water if the pan gets too dry. Turn off the heat, mix in the breadcrumbs and grind black pepper over everything. Let this cool.
- To make the dough, whisk together the flours and salt, then mix in the oil, egg and sour cream. Knead this dough well for 6-7 minutes, adding more all-purpose flour if needed. Cover with a damp cloth and let this rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. You don’t want the dough thin like Italian pasta. Cut out circles with a cutter or a glass. Mash together the dough trimmings and keep under the damp cloth.
- Put some of the filling into the center of the dough circle and close with your fingers. If you want, pleat the edges — or just seal with the tines of a fork. Place each finished pierogi on a floured tray.
- To finish, boil for a few minutes — until the pierogi float — and serve with sour cream mixed with dill, or with lots of onions sauteed in butter.