“Braaaains!”a vendor with mysterious intonation in his voice screamed when I came to pick up my order. Because it’s not a common thing to find brains in Toronto, I waited 2 weeks for my special brain order from St James Town Steak & Chops butchery store. I had unclear feelings when I’d got it because I did not know what to do first: be happy or run away in panic attack. It looks weird! Just look at them!
And then I had to cook them. Challenge. Yehh…
To cook the Brain Pirogy, first of all, I divided my job in two sections: Filling and Dough.
Brain – 1 lb
Vinegar – 3 tablespoons
Bay leaf – 1 pc
Black Pepper Corn – 10 pcs
Vegetable oil to saute
Onion, diced – 1 pc
Flour – 2 teaspoons
Sour Cream – 1/2 cup
Dill/parsley/chives, diced – 1 bunch
Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
Flour 0,5 kg
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Yeasts – 11 g
Egg – 1 pc
Water – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
1.Soak the brain.
To prepare brains you need to soak them over night in cold salted water to get rid of blood. Keep bowl in a refrigerator on the lowest shelf.
2. Prepare the Yeasts
Next morning. Start to prepare you dough. Soak yeasts in a cup of warm water, add 1 tsp of sugar and wait till the yeast’ll “play” and bubbles’ll appear on the top of liquid. Approximaely 20 minutes.
3. Clean the Brains.
When brains are soaked and you wait your yeasts, it’s time to remove the membrane from the top of the brains and remove any pieces of blood behind it; you need to make it scrupulously; ether way, that’ll be taste and smell of blood in your food.
4. Cook the Brains.
Put the whole brains into a sauce pan, cover with cold water, add black pepper, bay leaf, 1 tsp of salt and 3 tbsp of vinegar, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. When ready, take it out and let it cool.
5. Prepare the Dough.
Come back to the dough. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add warm milk, salt, egg and add the flour in a few steps. When all ingredients are mixed, you need to knead the dough very well, and then put it in a warm calm place for one hour. When the dough is double-sized, knead it again and leave for extra hour.
6. Cooking the Brain Fillings
While you’re waiting your dough, it’s time to finish the work with the brain. Brains are cold and you can begin you work. Dice it into small pieces. Heat up oil in a pan and saute diced onion till it translucent then add 2 tsp flour and sour cream, bring to bubbles. Add dices brains, salt, nutmeg, dill/chives/parsley, lemon juice and keep inover the lowest heat a few minutes, then remove from the heat, let it cool.
Form a cylindric shape from the dough, divide it into the small portions about 50 g.
Then, make flat rounds from each piece and staff each piece with filling as in my video.
Finish the Pirogy.
And finally, the last part of Pirogy cooking!
Give a good heat for a good amount of oil in a pan, enough to cover a pirogy to the middle of each piece. When the oil is in smoking point, turn your heat to the middle, wait a bit and place pirogy into the pan.When pirogy are in the pan, avoid high heat of the oil; otherwise, your pirogy’ll be burnt outside and raw inside.
Hmm… Pirogy with Brains. It was my first time when I cooked and tried cooked brains. Incredible experience, honestly. It looks weird, its taste totally depends on the spices which you’ll put into the cooking process. Texture of the brains makes it treasurable because it does not replicable. Mushy, chewy, very soft. I do not like brains just because I do not like any kinds of meat except chicken, beef and pork, but my husband, my husband’s coworkers and my coworkers are liked it very much! So, if you are a person who’s totally open to any new kinds of proteins, I’m totally suggest you to try this recipe.
*Original number of the recipe is 322