This may not be a chichi dish, but sometimes humble pierogi pie is just the thing I want for dinner. No fuss, no plating, but still home cooking. Some of the best food isn’t all that pretty, but if we judged things based on the way they look, society…, oh who are you kidding, everyone judges things based on eye appeal. Personally, besides the dim lighting, I guess this guy is kind of good-looking. His personality will make up for it, if he’s not your type.
My mom is weird about lamb, (I know, I’ve been trying), so I opted for a cottage pie. I also, as you can tell, opted for a topping of pierogi instead of the usual mashed potatoes. In Pennsylvania, they have an array of Mrs. T’s pierogies, in Seattle it’s hard to find many varieties. The ones above are the mini four cheese, but any pierogi will work.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add beef, onion and garlic to same skillet and cook over medium-high heat until beef is brown, breaking up with spoon, about 8 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, gravy, parsley, carrot, Worcestershire and marjoram. Simmer 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While that is simmering, boil pierogi for 3 minutes. Drain, then add a pat of butter, and some salt.
Spoon beef mixture into a baking dish. Arrange pierogi on top.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
And for dessert…
Nick’s Supernatural Brownies
16 tbsp. unsalted butter,
plus more for greasing
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate,
cut into 1⁄4″ pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
1 cup flour
1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper; grease paper. Set pan aside.
2. Pour enough water into a 4-quart saucepan that it reaches a depth of 1″. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Combine butter and chocolate in a medium bowl; set bowl over saucepan. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. Whisk together eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk to combine. Stir in chocolate mixture; fold in flour. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.
MAKES 24 BROWNIES
from Nick Malgieri