In a past life, I lived with someone of Eastern European heritage. The family loved traditional foods such as Cabbage Rolls, Halushki, and of course, Perogies. But if you didn’t serve the latter with butter, onions, bacon and sour cream, it was sacrilege. Upon leaving that household, I decided that the delicious little dumplings deserved more pizazz than that simple but admittedly delicious presentation. And so, I went on to “gourmet” them in various sauces and with other ingredients. This is just one that was concocted by Jean-Luc during London Cartwright’s visit. (Trinidad Tryst, Sunao Publishing). Although an unlikely place to serve a traditional European dish, the new ingredients and presentation fit in well with the chef’s fusion appeal.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsn olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsn paprika
1 bag frozen perogies (in this case, the potato and bacon variety)
1 mild or spicy Italian sausage
3 rashers of bacon, chopped into bits
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion chopped (I also add half a leek for flavouring)
shavings from one small carrot
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 and 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I use Costco Marinara sauce. Haven’t found anything better unless homemade)
salt and pepper to taste
herb bouquet (or if using dried, 1/3 tbsn each of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil)

METHOD

  1. Boil sausage in small pan to eliminate fat. Empty water
  2. Add bacon bits to same pan. Leave sausage in to brown also
  3. Meanwhile, bring pan and olive oil to temperature and add onions (and leeks) and garlic. Sautee for a couple of minutes. Add peppers, paprika and carrot and continue to saute. Ensure all elements are covered in oil while sauteeing.
  4. Add broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  5. Add perogies (from frozen) atop, spread evenly
  6. Add bacon. Chop sausage into bite size pieces (about 1/4″) and add to skillet.
  7. Add wine and bring to boil again. Add herb bouquet
  8.  Once alcohol has boiled off (2-4 min), turn down heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.

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