South London chef Guy Awford goes wild for mushrooms with this classic Polish dumpling dish  

October marks a real shift in our eating habits, with the quick, vibrant dishes of the summer giving way to more complex and comforting dishes. Wild mushrooms are the month’s standout ingredient – their delicate, woody notes perfect for a gamey stew.

Wild mushrooms are admittedly a bit of a luxury, so if you want that earthy woody flavour without the expense, then Portobello mushrooms are the ones for you. Meaty and dense they have far more umami flavour than a button mushroom. Chopped and sautéed with aromatics they make a delicious autumnal filling for pierogi, the classic dumpling dish from Poland.

Pierogi are easy to make. You don’t need a pasta machine, just elbow grease and a rolling pin. To make the dough, sift 400g of self-raising flour into a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Add 260ml of hot water and a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Bring the dough together and knead for 10 minutes. Wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes. When the time comes to make the pierogi, keep the pastry circles covered with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out and don’t overfill them or they will burst in the water.

For the crispy onions, finely slice an onion and shallow fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the slices turn a rich golden brown. Scatter onto kitchen paper to dry out.

Print Portobello mushroom, cavolo nero & ricotta pierogi with sour cream & crispy onions Prep Time 60 Cook Time 10 Yields 30


pierogi dough (see left)
1 onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
500g Portobello mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200g cavolo nero, finely sliced
250g ricotta
2 slices bread, crust removed and torn into small pieces
marjoram, dill and thyme, chopped and added to taste
pinch caraway seeds
sour cream
crispy onions (see left)
In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic with the bay leaves until soft
In a separate pan, fry the mushrooms in batches until golden and add to the onions
Add the cavolo nero, herbs and caraway seeds and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the bread
Allow to cool, fold in the ricotta and season
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2mm and cut into 9cm circles with a pastry cutter
Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre and rub a little water over one side of the circle
Fold to form a semi-circle and press the edges with a fork to seal
Poach the pierogi in a large pot of boiling water until they float
Remove from the water, pat dry and pan-fry in a little olive oil until golden brown
Serve with crispy onions and sour cream

By Guy Awford

Guy is chef-patron of, & 

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