Recipe courtesy of James Rigato
Episode: The Root
Smoked Michigan Beef Pierogi
510 hr 30 min
(includes fermenting time)
1 hr 30 min
6 servings
510 hr 30 min
(includes fermenting time)
1 hr 30 min
6 servings


  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 large head cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
Root Red Chile Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds all-natural Michigan strip loin or ribeye loin trim
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups sour cream, plus more for garnish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon and more for pan-frying
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cups beer, such as Widow Maker Black Ale
  • 3 cups coffee, such as Water Street Classic Dark Brew Coffee
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ice water, for chilling
  • Chicken stock
  • Caraway seeds, toasted
  • Lemon juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley


For the sauerkraut: Boil 1 gallon of water and the salt, and then let cool. Pour over the shredded cabbage and let it ferment in a large nonreactive container for 2 to 3 weeks. Drain, reserving the liquid. Boil the liquid again, skimming any debris. Let cool, and pour over the cabbage once more, and then refrigerate for 1 day. Drain the cabbage and discard the liquid. Rinse the cabbage, and mix with 1/2 cup water and the vinegar. Use right away or let sit in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

For the spice blend: Mix together the paprika, ancho, sugar, cayenne, cumin, fennel, peppercorns and some salt.

For the meat: Heat a smoker to 160 degrees F. Rub the meat with the spice rub and salt and pepper and place on a rack in the smoker. Smoke for about 2 hours, and then dice the meat.

For the pierogi: Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the mixture, and add in the sour cream and eggs. Incorporate. Slowly mix in 1/2 cup melted butter. Add a splash of water until the dough is slightly sticky but stays together. Set aside at room temperature. Cover with a damp cloth. Get ready to roll.

Add the butter to a pan with the onions and cook until soft. Stir in the diced meat, beer and coffee. Cover and cook over a bare simmer for about 3 hours. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese, Worcestershire, hot sauce and some salt and pepper. Let cool.

Roll out the pierogi dough to your desired thickness. Add the filling to one side, and then fold over the dough to close. Press a fork around the edges to seal. Blanch in salted water until floating, and then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.

Simmer 4 cups of sauerkraut in a little chicken stock. Fold caraway seeds into some sour cream with a little bit of lemon juice, hot sauce and a pinch salt. Heat butter in a saute pan and pan-fry the piergoi. Plate the pierogi on top of the caraway sour cream and sauerkraut. Top with a sprinkle of parsley.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

Cook's Note

We serve the pierogi with house-made sauerkraut. It's brined cabbage that sits for about 3 weeks and ferments. You can easily skip this step and purchase your favorite brand at the super market.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.

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