This recipe is a bit of a love letter to my parents. My dad’s family has deep Polish roots, my mother’s has deep English roots. Both countries are mocked for their culinary traditions, but I’ve always found the food to be pretty tasty and always comforting. Seemed only natural to combine them!
For the dough:
Combine 3 cups flour, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 cup warm water. When the flour is fully incorporated, the dough should not feel wet or sticky. If your dough feels wet or sticky, add a bit more flour a tablespoon at a time. When the dough is fully incorporated, knead using your hands for about 8 minutes. Let rest in a bowl at room temperature for about an hour.
For the filling:
Brown 1 pound of ground beef. Traditionally, Shepherd’s pie uses lamb but it’s not something I regularly buy. I go with beef and most folks can’t tell the difference. After the beef is browned, add 1/2 diced white onion, 1 Russet potato, peeled, cubed and boiled in salted water until soft, 1 cup frozen peas, 2 large carrots, shredded, 2 cloves minced garlic, 6 ounces tomato paste, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
When the filling has cooled, roll out the dough fairly thinly. Use a 3″ cookie cutter to cut rounds of dough. Dollop a tablespoon of filling on one side, then fold over and crimp together using your fingers. When your perogies are all folded and crimped, drop into boiling salted water. Boil for five minutes after they rise to the surface, then remove from the water. Finally, lightly pan fry them in 3 tablespoons of oil or butter. Alternatively, lightly brush with olive oil and air-fry until golden brown. The combination of boiling and frying creates a chewy but crispy texture and it’s the best of both worlds.