A recipe for Polish kielbasa and pierogi, because my name is Bialczak

My fresh kielbasa and pierogi was gone in a flash.

My fresh kielbasa and pierogi was gone in a flash.

These last nine months I’ve been admiring those gorgeous pictures posted by the food bloggers of the world.

I may have indeed raised my iPad up to my nose to imagine what the dish smelled like. Don’t tell anyone, please.

Never, though, do I pay as much attention to the accompanying recipes. My dear wife Karen, you see, is the cook in our family. Wait. Her dishes are so good I will even call her the chef in the family.

Yum. I love to eat. I can cook grilled cheese and pour out soup. It’s my task to grill the meat outside in the summer. (Too well-done. Again!)

And, from the beginning of our union, I am the one to cook the Polish food. With a last name like Bialczak and matriarchal generations that took pride in serving dishes from the old country, I figured it was the least I could do.

Tonight I cooked my Polish stalwart, fresh kielbasa and potato-and-cheese pierogi. As sides, I always go with baked beans and sauerkraut. I put horseradish on the kielbasa, but some of my folks have been known to choose spicy brown mustard instead.

I love my Polish boiling, frying and heating. I would have showed you with a picture of my efforts, but I forgot the plan and dove right into the eating portion of the festivities. You may be able to make out the last remnants on the empty plate.

In any case, here is the recipe for Mark Bialczak’s fresh kielbasa and potato-and-cheese pierogi.

1. In the mid-afternoon, ask Karen what time she wants to eat dinner. This is the key to a happy wife.

2. Exactly 75 minutes before said time of plating, put our biggest pot filled with water on the stove. Bring to boil.

3. Exactly 60 minutes before said time, add fresh kielbasa to pot. This is a sausage of meat and mysterious ingredients I purchase from a local butcher or supermarket. The real Polish kind from the butcher in Utica is sold by a local corner store here in Syracuse. It’s pretty darn wonderful. Today, though, I used a package purchased at Wegmans, the mega-supermarket in Upstate New York. It, too, is pretty darn wonderful. Since it is fresh kielbasa, it must boil for the full 60 minutes. (Smoked kielbasa just has to kiss the boiling water. I remember Bobci Bialczak slicing it from the package and giving it to me cold until my mother yelled at her that it was too fatty that way.)

4. Thirty minutes before said time, put second, smaller pot of water on the stove. Bring to boil. From here on down, time can be less exact. It typically bends minutes either way depending upon the commercial breaks in the game I’m watching on TV.

5. Twenty minutes before said time, throw package of Mrs. T’s potato-and-cheese pierogi into boiling water. This is a national brand, sold frozen in boxes by the dozen. Today was pierogi bingo day. Mrs. T gave us 13 in our box.

5a. Anytime around here, open can of baked beans and pour them into pot. Open can of sauerkraut and pour into microwave container. You can reverse these if you’d like. Heat them up to taste while you’re trying to listen to the game in the living room.

6. Ten minutes before said time, put big frying skillet on stove. This should take the last of your four burners. (Hence the microwave step above.) Add a quarter to a third of a quarter-pound stick of butter, depending upon your dosage of Lipitor. Melt.

7. Five minutes before said time, add quarter package of frozen onions. Keep heat on high. Stir onions. A lot. Allow to get brown but not black.

8. Three minutes before said time, remove and strain pierogi.

9. Two minutes before said time, add pierogi to frying pan. Allow one minute on each side.

10. Call Karen and let her make her own plate first.

Enjoy your Polish dinner. Repeat in a month or two.

20 thoughts on “A recipe for Polish kielbasa and pierogi, because my name is Bialczak

  1. I’m so glad you mentioned this gem. I missed this one. I’m with Rachel, number 4 is a favorite. And your number 1 makes you a brilliant man. Well done friend!


  2. Pingback: A powerful Polish meal, cooked by me | markbialczak

  3. Mark, you could have saved me some of that delicious kielbasa and pierogi. I grew up in a Polish community (West Amboy) and hung out with friends on Syracuse’s west side. Eva’s was one of my favorites. I also consider myself a very good cook when it comes to golumpki. (John Wisniewski is going to kill me. He told me how to spell it.)

    Enjoyable column even if you didn’t share. Thanks for following me.


    • Funny thing. There are never any leftovers to share when I cook Polish here. Glad to hear your affinity for our food. I like Sweet Eva’s, too. The potato pancakes are a real treat and something I don’t make at home! Thanks for reading, my friend.


  4. hi Mark, when I got to No4 and read about the commercial breaks I laughed – and I have never done that reading an Ina Garten recipe – this is a brilliant post!


  5. I just had polish dinner myself today and yes I cook it too.( with one eye on the NFL ) fresh keibasa from Indelicatos market, kapusta,pigs n blanket AND FRESH pierorgis that are made weekly at St Hyacinth church in Auburn. Sorry but no self respecting person of polish heritage( my mothers family were all polish ) would NEVER use Mrs T’s pierogis. I am shocked that you do. and it was delicious!!!
    leftovers on deck for tomorrow!


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