Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pierogi with Potato & Cheese Filling

( 24-36 dumplings, depending on size)

I grew up in Edmonton which had a large Ukrainian community, and learned to make these when I was still a teenager. Pierogi were serious business; a friend's mum once wrote me a "sick note" so I could skip an afternoon of school to help her make a huge batch, lol.

These dumplings are usually boiled, then coated with butter and served with fried onions and /or crispy bacon bits and sour cream.

They come with a variety of fillings. The popular one in Edmonton contained mashed potatoes and sharp cheddar cheese. Others were filled with sauerkraut or meat, and then there were the dessert pierogi filled with cherries, blueberries, saskatoon berries or plums.

For the New Year there were tiny ones filled with mushrooms which were placed into soup bowls with hot borscht ladled over them. My mouth waters just thinking of those.

I double this recipe and freeze most of the ones I make. Just place them on a lightly floured cookie sheet after they are filled and place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. At that point you can bag them for further freezing. When you are ready for the frozen ones, just drop them straight into the boiling water; don't defrost them.

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream

2- 4 tbsp water

Place the flour, egg, salt and sour cream into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse a few times. If the dough doesn't form into a ball and pull away from the sides, then add a tablespoon of water at a time until it does. You want a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Process the dough for a few seconds, then place it into a buttered bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel while you make the filling.

Potato and Cheddar Cheese Filling
2 cups mashed potatoes, cooled
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Fried Onions for Serving
3 tbsp butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute them until they turn to a golden brown. Adjust the heat if necessary so they don't burn.

To Assemble

Remove about 1/3 of the dough at a time and roll it out a bit thinner than a 1/4 inch on a lightly floured surface.

Cut out circles and place a small amount of filling in the centre, keeping the edges clear. Fold over the dough over the filling to resemble a crescent shape. Pinch the edges firmly together to seal them.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cooking them in batches, drop the dumplings into the water and boil them until they rise to the surface; about 3-5 minutes.

Drain and toss them with a bit of butter. Serve with fried onions and sour cream.

If you have any cooked pierogi left over, they can be reheated by frying in butter.


Kjell Crowe said...

After you boil them, you should try frying them in butter! They are even better like that! :) I love pierogi!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I've had them that way as well, and I agree.. they are delicious that way!

Anonymous said...

Our family's perogie dough, we only use flour and water. Makes for an incredibly tender dough!!

Anne said...

I can't believe people don't know about perogies! I'm from Winnipeg so I grew up on them. I had to learn how to make them when I moved. I always have some in the freezer. But I always boil then fry just to help clog those arteries. mmmmmmmmm

Candace Karu said...

Pierogies are new to me, but I can't wait to try them. They look like the ultimate comfort food!

Brilynn said...

Pierogis are awesome! My Grandma used to make them so well!

Anonymous said...

In Polish, 'pierogi' is a plural: one pierog, several pierogi.

Anonymous said...

Love love love it, I am definitely making these for my Mum, she's Canadian, I've only had them once before.

Lisa @ said...

I have never seen these before but the ingredients and photos looked so good I could not resist. They turned out quite good and everyone seemed to enjoy them. It's a keeper!

Teri @ said...

I had these one time many years ago but I was not the one that made them. I had never seen a recipe for it until I found yours. I am planning to make these very soon. I'm so happy I found your blog.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Thanks very much!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking pierogi

Anonymous said...

My family makes these every year to eat on Christmas eve! It's been a tradition that started back on my mothers side of the family. She is of Russian/Swedish/ Slovak decent - and I feel dumb cause I'm not sure which of the 3 the tradition started with. We seal ours using a fork so the look pretty and serve with butter and browned onions. My step dad started putting parmasean on top as well and I must admit that it is a great addition. I've never tried frying them, so ee'll have to try that!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

They are delicious fried in a bit of butter!

Anonymous said...

I grew up helping my mom and grandma make pierogis. We made Sauerkraut with fried bacon and caraway seed in them and then we also made the potatoe and cheese filled ones, the only difference we did with ours was after we boiled them, we whould throw them in a pan of butter and fry them until they were a golden brown, yum. I'm going to have to make some soon, the boughten ones are nothinng like homeade.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I've had the ones with sauerkraut and bacon, and they were delicious!

Anonymous said...

A old aunt used to add melted butter to the dough making process, and they were so soft it would just melt in your mouth.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Thanks for the tip! I will try that the next time I make a batch.

Anonymous said...

I am Polish and this is very similar to our recipe for generations.
Thank you foe posting this fabulous tutorial on the art of making these delicious little morsels of love. To the newbies at making Pierogies... Set aside a day to learn. This is not a quick recipe and failure from hurrying will make you shy from wanting to make them again.

Anonymous said...

In Ukraine and in Russia through centuries we call this dish "Vareniki". We still do it a lot everywhere in Ukraine and in Russia. It’s not a healthy food, but if you eat it only sometimes, it is tasty and very special.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author said...

Just ran across this recipe, and I'm going to try making this one as soon as the weather cools a little. A friend introduced me to 'home made' pierogies a few years ago and we had a blast making them one hot afternoon. She puts cooked potatoes into her dough though. Thanks for a great sounding recipe.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Sid, the addition of cooked potato intrigues me. Is the dough still kind of "stretchy"?

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