Pierogies originated in Poland in the 13th century as a common dish among peasants. These filled dumplings hold a variety of fillings from traditional potato or cabbage to savory meats and jams. Often served steaming hot and smothered in either butter or sour cream, they can be eaten boiled or boiled and then fried in butter or bacon fat to create a crisp treat.
Freezing Before Cooking
Freezing pierogies before they have been cooked poses the risk of cracking and splitting of the dough. For this reason, many avoid freezing the raw dough. However, freezing uncooked pierogies does not harm the pierogies and does not affect the flavor. Many pierogies sold in stores are frozen before they are cooked.
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Freezing After Cooking
Pierogies can be frozen after cooking, but this poses the risk of over-cooking the dough when they are boiled in water. If you prefer fried pierogies, it may be less of an issue, as they can be thawed and then fried in a pan with butter or bacon fat. Cooking the pierogies before freezing them saves time when preparing the meal, but does require more attention to thawing and heating the pierogies at mealtime.
Partially Cooking Before Freezing
Partially cooking the pierogies before freezing is a good compromise. It reduces the risk of the dough cracking when frozen and cuts down on preparation time when they are thawed. Partially cooked pierogies can be prepared by boiling them in water to finish the cooking process and then fried, if preferred.
Tips for Freezing and Cooking Pierogies
Plunging partially cooked pierogies into cold water to cool them before freezing stops the cooking process and prevents your freezer from over-working. Both cooked and partially cooked pierogies must be drained thoroughly before freezing. Lining a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper and spreading the pierogies over the surface in a single layer to flash freeze them eliminates issues of frozen pierogies sticking together. Place the pierogies in a zippered food storage bag after they have frozen to allow for easy retrieval.