Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pierogies Like Mom Used to Make

Ah, homemade pierogies! Those plump little bundles of melty, cheesy joy! Comfort food in a dumpling! (You can probably tell how crazy I am about them by all the exclamation points I feel compelled to use when writing about them.) I love pierogies, and these homemade ones are so-o-o-o much better than those storebought wannabes. They may take a little time to make, but sometimes it's so worth it to invest that extra hour and make something really yummy and special for dinner.

This is basically my mom's recipe, although she never measures the potatoes and cheese for the filling, just makes a batch of mashed potatoes and adds some cheese and onion. She made these regularly for us when I was growing up, and she still treats me to homemade pierogies when I go to visit her. And they still put a smile on my face! Now, my own kids get excited when they come home, and I cook up a batch of pierogies as a special treat. And every time I make them I think, "Gee, that didn't take so long. Why don't I make them more often?" I hereby resolve to do just that!

Pierogies with Potato-Cheese Filling

Potato filling:
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 T. butter
2-4 T. milk
½ c. onion, chopped
2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes, then mash with butter and milk.
Sauté chopped onion in a bit of butter until golden.
Combine potatoes, onions, and cheese.  Mixture may be heated to melt the cheese, but it’s not really necessary.


1 egg, beaten
2 T. sour cream
½ c. milk
½ c. water
3 c. flour + extra for rolling out dough

Combine egg, sour cream, milk, and water. Add enough flour to make a dough that can be handled, about 3 cups. You don’t want it too sticky or too dry and crumbly. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for a minute or two until it’s smooth.

Roll the pierogi dough on a floured countertop to about 1/8” thick. Cut into squares approximately 4” x 4”.

Drop a tablespoon or two of potato filling in the center of each square. Fold over the dough and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.

Boil the pierogies a few at a time in boiling water. I like to use a large, deep skillet. Gently move them around in the pan to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. They are done when they float to the top (about 3 minutes). Keep the heat turned up high to keep the water simmering as you add new pierogies.

Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and lay them on wax paper to dry awhile before sautéing.

Sauté the pierogies until golden brown on both sides. I use a combination of half butter and half canola oil, a tablespoon or two of each in a large skillet.

All done! The only problem with these pierogies is that you can't stop eating them once you start!

Recipe Notes:
- Most pierogi recipes call for using round circles of dough, but we've always made ours with squares. There's less re-rolling of the dough that way, and they taste just as good!
- I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough. After I fill the pierogies and crimp the edges, I usually trim to edges with the pizza cutter to tidy them up.
- I make my pierogies gluten free by using GF flour from Jules Gluten Free.
- Pierogies may be frozen before cooking, after boiling, or after sautéing. I usually freeze fully cooked leftovers in Ziploc bags.
- Some people serve pierogies with sour cream, much like potato pancakes, but we've always been pierogi purists and eat them unadorned.
- The chopped onions in the filling are optional. If you don't include them with the potatoes, it's nice to sauté some sliced onions and serve them on the side.

1 comment:

  1. My Aunt Olga used to make these every Christmas and I do have her recipe but your recipe seems a lot easier and smaller. I will definately make these now!!! Thank you so much!!


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