Ohh, I love them. There was a time during my childhood when I did not want to eat anything else, just pierogi – Russian style, or with meat, cabbage and mushrooms or with cherries or strawberries… the possibilities were endless.
So what are pierogi?
This is what Wikipedia have to say on the topic:
Pierogi (Polish pronunciation: [pjɛˈrɔɡʲi]; juvenile diminutive form: Pierożki Polish pronunciation: [pjɛˈrɔʂki] also in use) are dumplings of unleavened dough – first boiled, then they are baked or fried usually in butter with onions – traditionally stuffed with potato filling,sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. Of central and eastern European provenance, they are usually semicircular, but are rectangular or triangular in some cuisines.
Pierogi are similar to the Russian pelmeni or Ukrainian varenyky and are not to be confused withpirozhki (the Russian word for stuffed fried buns) or a pirog (the Russian word for “pie”). Polish pierogi ruskie are similar to the Ukrainian varenyky in version with potatoes and cottage cheese (quark).
So how do you make them?
Pierogi are very easy to make, but quite time consuming.
You will need to make dough and some filling. This time let’s focus on Russian style pierogi, which means filled with potatoes and farmer cheese mix.
1kg of flour will make around 100 pierogi, yes that’s a lot, but they freeze very well.
We normally do the filling in proportions of 3:1 (three times more potatoes than farmer cheese).
|1kg of potatoes||1kg of flour|
|0.33kg of farmer cheese||Warm water|
|1 large onion||Salt|
|2tbs of oil||2tbs of butter|
|1 large onion|
First we need to make our filling.
- Clean the potatoes, cook, peel and mash
- Finely chop the onion and brown in cooking oil until golden, let it cool and add into potatoes
- Add farmer cheese
- Add salt and pepper to taste and mix everything together
The filling is made at this point and we can now move on to making the dough.
And this is how you make it:
When your dough is well kneaded and rolled it is ready to be cut into shape. For this you will need a large cup or a pint glass or a cookie cutter. Just like this.
Now we have all the components we need to make / build our pierogi. We have our stack of nicely cut dough disks and our filling so it’s time to put them together.
This part may take some practice but I hope these pictures will help.
Now that we have made our prirogi let us quickly cook them before they totally dry out.
For this you will need a large cooking pot, filled with water, add some salt and bring it up to boil. Once boiling, gently place your pierogi in, just few at a time and cover with a lid. When they rise to the surface grab a slotted spoon and gently “fish them out”.
Finally ready to serve – ideally with onions browned in butter, unless you are Mark and hungry and cannot wait no longer…
Or you can let them to cool down if you want to serve them golden fried.
Ahh just a few top tips:
- Remember don’t be tempted to make the dough in one big batch to save time, because in the end you won’t. The only exception to this tip is if you are part of a large family or have an army of little helpers.
- Never over boil them, as they will simply fall apart in the water
- To make them even more tasty, fry some meat pieces (bacon or pork belly is best) and add them on top of your golden fried pierogi
- Or if you like cheese (like Mark does) you can add some grated cheese on top of freshly golden fried pierogi, so it melts over them
- If you planning to freeze them, avoid adding onion into the filling, they will keep for longer