Pierogi Recipe With Senegalese Yassa Sauce
In my travels abroad, I have visited both Poland and Senegal, and I discovered some truly excellent food in both countries.
Though I was in Poland for only a relatively short period of time, I found the pierogis—which are Polish dumplings, sort of like Polish ravioli—to be wonderful, especially the pierogi ruskies with their potatoes, bacon, cheese, and onions. There is also a wonderful dessert variant of pierogis, which contains fruit.
In Senegal, one of the best foods I discovered was yassa, a type of sauce composed of sautéed onions combined with various other spices and ingredients to produce a richly flavored topping that can be added to anything, although principally used with chicken.
Thus, when thinking of something new to make, I was struck by the idea of combining these two recipes, since pierogi ruskies already have onions. Perhaps somebody else has already combined Polish and Senegalese food before, but who knows? Maybe I'm the first one to attempt to bring together these two cuisines! Regardless, I found the results to be entirely to my satisfaction, with the yassa providing some additional sharpness and a tinge of sweetness to the combination, making it even more flavorful.
This recipe is entirely my own.
- 4 onions
- 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon djon mustard
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon +1/2 teaspoon salt, + additional for boiling water
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 8 pieces bacon
- 3 boiling potatoes, peeled, cut into halves
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, (optional if using bacon fat for cooking the onions instead)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Start by marinading the onion for the filling. In a medium-sized bowl combine together the 4 onions, which have been peeled and finely diced, the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 4 peeled and minced cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Allow to marinate around 2 hours.
- Next, make the dough. In a bowl sift together 3 1/2 cups of flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add in 1 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir together then knead for 5 minutes until it is a cohesive dough. Roll out on a counter and using a cup with a 3-inch diameter rim cut out the pierogis, which will be later filled.
- There are two alternate paths for the bacon. Either it can be baked in the oven, which will reduce the mess of splattered oil, at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Or if one prefers a more flavorful recipe, sauté the bacon normally over the stovetop. Leave the bacon fat in the pan. Sauté the marinated onions in the bacon fat at length over medium heat, at least 10 minutes, until they are heavily browned and golden, moving them constantly to prevent them from burning. Afterwards remove from heat. If one doesn't use the bacon fat for cooking them, instead use 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Boil the peeled potatoes which have been cut in 2 for 20 minutes. This will soften them sufficiently for mashing.
- Fill the dumplings. Melange the various fillings and place them into the pierogis, then fold them over and secure them firmly, to prevent water from leaking in. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add in the pierogis and reduce heat, cooking for 5 minutes when they start to rise to the surface.
- If the pierogis appear too soft, moist, or wet, then fry them briefly afterwards to make them crispy. Otherwise, they are ready to serve.
- Serve with options such as sour cream, crumbled bacon, left-over sautéed onions, and with sides such as a salad.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas