Home > Comfort Food, Mom Inspired > Pierogi’s (or perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, or pyrogy)

Pierogi’s (or perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, or pyrogy)

Homemade Pierogi's

Homemade Pierogi’s

Before I started to type this entry, I realized that sometimes I just don’t know the exact measurements that I need for certain recipes.  But the beauty of cooking is you don’t really need exact.  Its not baking, its cooking and sometimes you have to improvise.  That’s what makes it fun for me.  All ingredients listed below are a starting point, but you may to adjust based on how wet or dry the ingredients are. My apologies in advance if you don’t get it right the first time….but keep trying.  Trust me, mistakes in the kitchen happen and the only way to get better is to not give up.

So, not familiar with Pierogi’s?

A pierogi (spelled various ways) is Polish for “dumpling of unleavened dough” (or at least that’s what Wikipedia says they are) usually filled with something savory (but can be made sweet).  Before my mom passed, she probably made thousands of them.  She made them for family.  She made them for friends.  Heck, I’m convinced she made them for people she didn’t even know.  And they were GOOD.  Really, really good!  They are comfort food for me and  I describe a pierogi as a pillow of edible goodness.  Make them from scratch its like a pillowcase with a thousand thread count.

The first time I ever made them without Lucille at the helm was last year.  I was talking food with my buddy Sal and the subject came up. I told him I wanted to give it a shot.   Not having my mom’s recipe, I asked him to get a hold of the recipe that his mother-in-law used.  While the recipe below isn’t her’s exactly (I lost that one), I think it’ s very similar (and most pierogi recipe you find on the internet uses all of the same basic ingredients anyway).

Give it a try, they’re easy and can be filled with anything you can think of.  I’m working on a blue cheese, mushroom, bacon burger pierogi, that I’ll finish on the grill for a nice presentation.

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 cups of flour (plus extra based on humidity, plus even more for kneading and rolling)
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (table salt will work, but try to use kosher)
1/2 cup of sour cream (don’t use fat free, but you could use light)
1/4 cup of softened unsalted butter (half of a stick) cut in to pieces
4 tablespoons of ice water (if necessary)
Plus ingredients to fill your pierogi’s (garlic mashed potatoes and cheese is popular – recipe follows)

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt, then pour in the beaten egg and mix gently with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Add the sour cream and butter and work the dough until it isn’t sticky (adding more flour if too wet or some of the ice water if too dry).  Be very careful not to over mix).  The finished dough shouldn’t be tacky but shouldn’t have too much flour either.
Once mixed, take the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (or until your ready to use, even overnight).  Your dough ball should look something like this:

Wrapped dough ready for the fridge

Wrapped dough ready for the fridge

After 30 minutes, or when you’re ready, flour your work surface then unwrap the dough and cut in half (I find it easier to work in 2 smaller batches).  Wrap one half and place back in the fridge, put the other half on the work surface.  With a rolling pin, begin to roll the dough until desired thickness (about 1/16″)

*Notice how similar this is to making pasta — almost all of the same ingredients too.

Rolled pierogi dough

Rolled pierogi dough

Once the dough is rolled, you’ll want to cut it in to rounds (the size of a doughnut works best).  If you have a doughnut cutter, use it (don’t forget to remove the doughnut hole part).  I don’t have one so I use what my mom would sometimes use…the screw top of a mason jar (or a cup or glass works good too).  You should get about a bakers dozen of rounds when cut.  Take the unused dough and pack it together, roll that out and make another 4 or 5 rounds.  Place all of your rounds to the side (I put them on a cookie sheet out of the way)

Dough cut in to rounds

Dough cut in to rounds

Once you have your rounds cut, you can start to fill them.  I use a small scoop to get roughly same amount in each pierogi.  Place the filling in the center.

Filled and ready to fold

Filled and ready to fold

Once your rounds are filled, you’re ready to fold.  Take the top half and fold it over to the bottom half.  They should stick together but if not use a very small amount on your finger to help make a seal.  (I keep a bowl of water near by and dip my finger in if needed).  Once folder over, crimp with a fork.  I got 18 with one half of the dough.

Voila!

Voila!

Repeat with the other half  of the dough and remaining mixture.

At this point, the pierogi’s are ready to be cooked.

To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, then add salt.  Drop the pierogi’s in the salted boiling water until they float (just a few minutes or longer if frozen.  Meanwhile, slice onions and begin to saute’ in a separate pan with melted butter.

When pierogi’s are done boiling, remove them with a slotted spoon (drained thoroughly) and place them in the pan with the butter and onions.  Cook on both sides to desired crispiness.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

However, if you are not ready to cook immediately, pierogi’s freeze very well.

To freeze, place the uncooked pierogi’s in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop the whole thing (uncovered) in to the freezer.  Freezing them this helps to ensure they don’t stick when you package them.
After about 30 minutes, take 6 pierogi’s (or a lesser portion size you like for future use) and put them in a sandwich bag.  Then take the filled sandwich bags and put those in a freezer bag and freeze for 2-3 months.

Garlic & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes Pierogi Filling (or just to eat as a side dish)

Ingredients:

4-6 russet potatoes (skin peeled)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
4-6 oz. of shredded cheddar
1/2 cup of warm milk
2-3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut potatoes in to same sized chunks, place in pot and cover with cold water.  Cook until fork tender.  Meanwhile, mince the garlic and shred the cheese.   When potatoes are cooked, drain complete.   Add in a large bowl with the garlic, butter, salt and pepper.  Add a little milk and begin to mash until desired consistancy (adding more milk as needed).  When mashed, mix in cheese and let cool complete.

Garlic and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Garlic and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

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  1. May 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Honestly, I would never have thought about making pierogi’s myself. (I’m easily intimidated by anything containing flour or filling of any kind.) But your post made me think I could TOTALLY do this. I now HAVE to try it. Thanks so much!

    • May 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I equate flour with baking so I’m right there with you…but this recipe (as well as homemade pasta) is very simple. You should give it a try. If you mess up, you’ve wasted less than $5 worth of ingredients (tops)! Good luck and I look forward to reading about how it turns out.

  2. May 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I gain 5 pounds every time I stop by…can’t wait to try this one!

  3. May 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    wow – a real polish recipe! You have made it look very easy, Dennis! I might have to try this if I ever pull the “Polish” theme for our supper club!

    • May 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

      All sorts of Polish food for that party. Also…have a pierogi party. Everyone helps and takes home the haul

  4. May 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    These look and sound great! I’m with you on not always knowing the exact measurements of things. I will definitely be giving these a try! By the way thank you for the like and follow. I’m so glad you did as I now have access to your great blog. A follow coming right up 🙂

    • May 16, 2012 at 4:45 am

      I’m really glad you like the blog. Thanks! Be sure to let me know how your pierogi’s turn out.

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