Braised Short Rib Pierogies - Photo by Andrew Russell, Tribune Review

Short Rib Pierogi Debate – gourmet creativity or disgrace to tradition

The city of Pittsburgh is rich in Polish heritage.  So much, that pierogies are viewed as a city icon.  The Pittsburgh Pirates even have four pierogi mascots that run around PNC Park as in-game entertainment.  Though the Pirates have fun with their pierogies, some serious locals scoff when restaurants have fun with them on their menu.

Braised Short Rib Pierogies - Photo by Andrew Russell, Tribune Review
Braised Short Rib Pierogies - Photo by Andrew Russell, Tribune Review

A recent tweet from Braddock’s American Brasserie, which we’ve reviewedbefore, offers a braised short rib pierogi.  But when you stuffed it with a braised short rib, is  it really a pierogi, or is it more of a ravioli?

My answer is yes, it is a pierogi.  Here’s why.

After some of my own personal research, here are some key differences between pierogies (of Polish decent) and raviolis (of Italian decent).


Pierogies are filled pasta circles that are folded and pinched closed into half moon shapes. Ravioli are square pillows that are sealed the entire perimeter of the square.
The Inside “Stuffing”
Pierogies are traditionally filled with potatoes, onion or cheese, sometimes in combination. Ravioli are traditionally filled with meats and cheeses.
The Outside “Dough”
Pierogi dough is just flour and water. Raviolis are made using an egg pasta.
Pierogies are boiled and/or pan fried in butter and onions.  Served pan to plate without a sauce. Ravioli are only boiled and served in a sauce.
I admire a chef that likes to be creative and make creative leaps with their food as long as the integrity of the dish remains in tact.  Though most traditional yinzers (term for a local Pittsburgh native) may say that putting short ribs in a piegori is a sin, I think it is creative genius.
So now you have to decide, is it the shape, stuffing, dough or preparation that would cause you to sway one way or the other?


While "TasteBud B" doesn't feel very photogenic, he certainly gets out and about to snap pictures of his food. He's passionate about sharing Pittsburgh events, food talk topics, restaurant recommendations and travel destination finds. (@PghTasteBudB On Twitter)

View all posts by TasteBudB →

Leave a Reply