We first had pierogies from the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church at the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival. We had heard the glory of the church's famed dumplings, but never quite made it happen until fate intervened and put us all at the same festival.
It was truly love at first bite.
When we visited the church's table at the festival they were handing out cards for their Christmas pierogi sale, and we knew we would have to return to buy more- and that we did!
Two Seasons for Pierogies at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church
The pierogi sale (or “Pirohi” as they are called at the church) at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church occurs during the Lenten and Christmas seasons and is an institution by Pittsburgh standards.
Produced by a mini army of grandmothers and grandfathers in the church's gymnasium, the pierogies at the church have a secret ingredient that make them leaps and bounds better than, well, just about any we've had in the city.
That secret ingredient? Love.
We do not say this to be overly dramatic, but it is true. As home cooks who have tried to make pierogies several times we know how labor intensive these little dumplings can be. But to be able to hand make what amounts to hundreds if not thousands of dozens of pierogies during the holiday sales, and also make them taste incredible at the same time, well, a lot of love goes in to that- and we are personally hooked.
How to Order Pierogies
Ordering pierogies at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church is simple. All you have to do is call their office number (412-331-5155) on Wednesday between 9am and 12pm during the sales seasons (Lent and Christmas) for pick-up on an upcoming Friday.
The pierogies are sold by the dozen with options of potato and cheese, sauerkraut, and a sweet cheese- all at $10 a dozen (Christmas 2018 pricing). Naturally, we got all three.
Sales take place during the Lenten season as well as from November until mid-December (typically), with the weeks closest to the holidays being the busiest. We were told that in those weeks it is recommended to order further in advance (a couple of weeks) as availability cannot be guaranteed.
Likewise, the church does offer some day-of pickup for last minute orders if extra pierogies are available; however, those cannot be guaranteed and advanced notice is always recommended.
What Are the Pierogies Like?
In a word? Divine.
The pierogies are sold cooked, so you can eat them as soon as you pick them up (ours were still warm), but if you are like us you may wish to wait until later to reheat them.
The folks at the church recommend a number of cooking options from simply reheating in the microwave, to warming up in the oven, or, our favorite, pan frying.
We personally love a light fry on our pierogies to give them a nice crunch on the exterior while still keeping some of the doughy goodness in tact. Since these pierogies are already cooked once you can get a nice brown on these in a matter of minutes, and end up with a delicious product that is rivaled by only a few.
The best part about the pierogies is that there are three kinds available, and if you mix-and-match the sauerkraut, potato and cheese, and sweet cheese options you end up with a hearty meal that has some rather delicious flavors all the same.
Suffice it to say, we're going to be regulars at this seasonal sale!
The Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church is located at 206 Helen Street in McKees Rocks. Pierogi sales occur during Lent and Christmas.