Variations of these little dumplings can be found all over Central & Eastern Europe where they are known by a variety of names (pierogi, pierohy, pierozhki, kreplach, varynyki). While the names may be different, the basic idea is the same: ravioli-like dumplings stuffed with either a savory or sweet filling. The Polish version below uses the standard potato and cheese filling; other fillings such as buckwheat and ground beef, farmer's cheese, and sauerkraut and mushrooms are all equally delicious. Fruit fillings such as blueberry or strawberry are also common and make for a unique dessert. Interestingly, the Polish word 'pierogi' is a plural word, possibly because it is impossible to just eat one!
Ingredients For the dough:
2 cups of white all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3 large eggs
1/3 cup of water (room temperature)
Everything you'll need for the dough
For the filling:
3 medium potatoes
1/3 cup of milk
60g of grated tasty cheese
salt & pepper to flavor
1L of water
Everything you'll need for the potato/cheese filling
Olive oil or margarine
50g of chopped bacon
2 large onions
1 clove of garlic
What you'll need to serve
Fill a pot with 1L of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wash and peel the potatoes and chop them into chunks .
Place the potatoes into the water when it begins to boil. Allow the potatoes to cook until they become soft, about 15-20 minutes on a medium-high heat.
Drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot. Add in the milk and begin to mash.
After mashing the potatoes lightly, add in the grated cheese and some salt and pepper. Mash until there are no lumps.
Make sure the grated cheese melts into the mixture
Empty the mashed potatoes into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt, using a fork to combine them well. Add the eggs and mix together to begin to form a dough.
Slowly add water as needed until the dough comes together. If the dough is too wet and sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
This is what the dough should look like when it is ready. It should be somewhat sticky, but should not stick to your hands.
Place the pierogi dough into a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Do not leave the dough in fridge longer than 30 minutes as it may become too moist & sticky.
Sprinkle flour onto a counter top or large surface and place the pierogi dough on top. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out until it is approximately 3mm in thickness. Be sure to turn dough over periodically while rolling it out to make sure it does not stick to the counter.
Place a sheet of baking paper onto a baking sheet and dust the baking paper with flour. Using a cup approximately 7.5-8cm in diameter, cut out circles of dough and place them onto the baking paper. Re-roll the dough and repeat the cutting process as necessary. Dough should yield approximately 18-22 pierogi.
Take the mashed potatoes out of the fridge and re-flour the counter lightly. Working one at a time, roll out each circle of pierogi dough to approximately 1.5 times its original size.
Original cut-out on the right, full-sized pierogi on the left.
Take a teaspoon of the mashed potatoes and place it at one end of the circle.
Fold the pierogi dough over and pinch the edges together with a wet fork. Set the completed dumpling aside and repeat for each pierogi.
Pinch all of the edges around the pierogi. Keep a small bowl of water nearby so you can dip the fork in to re-wet it.
This is what your final product should look like.
Once all the pierogi are formed, bring 1.5L of water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, place approximately 6 pierogi into the water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon when ready and set the pierogi onto a rack to dry (if no rack is available, place them onto a paper towel). Repeat until all the pierogi are cooked.
Be sure to turn the drying pierogi over so that they dry properly on both sides
If saving the pierogi for a later time, allow them to fully cool. Place the pierogi into a snap-lock bag and stick the bag into the freezer. Allow the pierogi to fully defrost before cooking them again (Use the following steps to re-heat the pierogi).
Heat the olive oil or margarine in a large fry pan. While the pan is heating up, slice the onions and chop the garlic cloves. Place onion and garlic into the fry pan and cook until onion is soft.
Add more margarine or butter as needed.
Add the boiled (or defrosted) pierogi to the pan and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes, or until the pierogi are slightly browned on both sides.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped bacon.
Heads up all would be pierogi-cooks; dont put the boiled dumplings on paper towel or you will end up with paper towel on your dumplings.
If you dont have a cake rack, use a clean tea towel to drain your cooked pierogi.