Having successfully made homemade pierogi, I now feel that I have earned the right to call myself a true Polish woman. I am actually only half Polish, but I do feel this is the part of me that is responsible for my borderline obsession with cooking, baking, and especially feeding others (as evidenced by the behavior of my mother, aunt and grandma). My grandmother made pierogi often while I was growing up and they are one of the few pieces of my Polish heritage that I am familiar with. Unfortunately, she tried teaching me how to make these when I was far too young to understand (or care) about learning. Now her terrible arthritis prevents her from making pierogi, and she is unwilling to write out a recipe since it is something she does more by “feel”.
Those who read my blog regularly may realize that I am not quite comfortable with recipes that go by feel, but in an effort to make these truly authentic, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try. The fabulous step-by-step photos and instructions on Shawna’s blog made the whole process very simple and I didn’t encounter any issues at all. This is definitely a time-consuming and involved process, but it was so worth it to me when the end result tasted exactly like the pierogi of my childhood. And best of all, when I told my grandmother I had made pierogi, she was incredibly proud of me. A success on many levels! If you have never had the pleasure of tasting pierogi before, give them a try! They can be filled with a variety of fillings to suit different tastes, and they freeze very well so you can have comfort food on hand at a moment’s notice. My good friend and partner in baking, Chelle, is also part Polish so we decided to tackle this challenge together. She used a different recipe but had great results as well. Check out her blog here!
For the filling (fills about 48 pierogi):
3 medium-sized Russet potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1 chunk Farmer’s cheese (approx. ½ lb.)
salt and pepper, to taste
For the dough (each dough recipe yields about 8 dough rounds):
1 eggs, beaten
1 heaping spoonful sour cream
1 splash of milk
To make the filling, peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil until fork-tender. While the potatoes are boiling, crumble Farmer’s cheese into a large mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg to the cheese, mix lightly, and set aside. Drain potatoes and allow them to cool. Once cooled, add to the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix in diced chives. Mash with a potato masher or two forks until the mixture has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Set aside.
To prepare the dough, place one egg in a mixing bowl. Beat well. Add a spoonful of sour cream and mix well. Add enough flour until it begins forming a ball. Mix in a splash of milk, and add a small amount more flour if needed to form a workable dough.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. If necessary, add more flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and is able to be rolled out into a thin sheet. Using the rim of a drinking glass, cut out dough rounds (I get about 8 out of each dough recipe). Place one round of dough in your hand and fill the center with a small clump of the potato filling. Fold the dough over into a semi-circle and pinch the edges together. (If the dough is not sticking together well, brush the inside edges of the dough lightly with water and then pinch together to seal.) Be careful not to overfill so that the filling does not leak out during cooking. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Continue making enough recipes of dough to use up the filling.
While making the remaining pierogi, set a large pot of water to boiling on the stove. Once water is boiling, place about 6-8 pierogi in the water so that they are not touching. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Once the pierogi are floating, flip them and let boil for 3 more minutes. Remove the pierogi from the water and set in a colander to remove any remaining liquid. Boil your next set of pierogi while the first set drains. Transfer the drained pierogi to plates or a wire rack to cool and dry completely. Continue rotating sets, boiling, draining and cooling until all pierogi have gone through the full cycle. (At this point, pierogi can be placed in freezer bags and frozen until ready to eat.)
To prepare the pierogi for eating, simply sauté in a skillet with butter and onions until browned and heated through. Serve with sour cream.
Source: adapted from Daily Deliciousness