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Pierogi

Pierogi - 13

My friend Becky came over yesterday, for the sole purpose of cooking with me. We both love to cook and bake, and she’s as crazy as I am when it comes to making something new and/or difficult. (For a little more context, she’s the same friend who came over to make fondant with me.)

So I thought well, we’ve already tackled fondant. How about something a little easier? I’d found a recipe for potato gnocchi that didn’t look too hard, so I told her to bring along 2 lbs of potatoes and we’d make a little pasta and hang out.

Except we didn’t (make the gnocchi, that is). And it wasn’t (easier, that is).

Instead, hours before Becky came over, I opened my e-mail to find the recipe for pierogi from my mother-in-law that I had asked for – her mom’s recipe. And, I couldn’t resist – I am Polish, after all. We already had the potatoes and a good chunk of time, so why not? So, I decided to chronicle our pierogi-making adventure. While making pierogi sounds like a daunting task, it isn’t. It is time-consuming; we were at it for about 4 hours…but none of the steps are particularly hard. And, you’ll learn from our mistakes – more on that later. Here’s what you’ll need.

Servings: 50

Dough

Filling (potato & cheddar)

You can, of course, use any kind of filling you’d like – potato & garlic, sauerkraut, blueberry, even buffalo chicken. The possibilities are endless…and that’s what I love about them!

First, make the potato filling. Boil the potatoes in a covered pot as you would to make mashed potatoes. When tender, drain the potatoes – but SAVE THE WATER. This is the potato water mentioned earlier that we’ll use to make the dough. It’ll need to cool down, so stick it in the fridge while you continue to make the filling.

Pierogi - 1

Mash the potatoes with the cheddar cheese. You can add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t add milk or butter – you don’t want the potato mix getting too creamy and leaking out of the dough later. If your potato mix looks fluffy like this, you’re good:

Pierogi - 2

Now, make the dough. This recipe makes approximately 50 pierogi. I figure if you’re going to put the effort into making them from scratch, make a bunch! They can easily be frozen and cooked later.

First, in a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.

Pierogi - 3

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, and then add in the sour cream.

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In another medium bowl, mix the potato water with the oil. Make sure your potato water mixture is cool, because you’re going to add it to the egg mix. Ours was still a little too warm, so we had to temper the egg mix first.

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After you mix the two together, add it to the flour mixture half at a time. Once you have a rough dough (i.e., it’s mostly sticking together in a big clump), move it to a floured board and begin kneading it with your palms. Continue to knead for several minutes until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Divide it in half, and work each half until smooth again. (There are four “halves” in the picture, since we were both baking our own batch).

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Then, divide it in half again, and form it into four balls. Cover it with wax paper and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Now you’re ready to start filling the pierogi.

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First, flour your surface well. Take one of the balls of dough and roll until about 1/8″ thick. DO NOT FLIP THE DOUGH; only roll on one side. This is so that when we pinch the dough together with the filling inside, it will stick together easily – otherwise, you can use a little bit of water to secure the dough. Using a 3″ circle cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough.

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Drop about a tablespoon of filling on to each square.  Fold in half and pinch the edges together, making sure there is no filling between the edges.

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Repeat this process for each pierogi and for each ball of dough.  You should get approximately 12-13 pierogi out of each ball of dough.  And, might as well pull up a chair. It takes a while.

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Once you get to your last ball of dough, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  Add in some oil as well to prevent the pierogi from sticking together.  By the time you’re finished making the pierogi, the water will be ready for you.

Oh, and by the way, the picture you just saw?  Yeah, this one:

Pierogi - 10

Don’t do this. EVER. At the time, bowls are everywhere, you’re covered in flour, and it seems like a wonderful, space-saving idea. But don’t do it! All the pierogi will stick together in a big pile of doughy, potato-y mush – and all your hard work will be wasted. It happened to Becky’s plate, and it made me want to cry. I think the only reason it didn’t happen to mine was because of the heat factor – she set her plate down next to the stove to drop the pierogi into the boiling water, while mine was still sitting where I left it as I tried to clean up a bit. The heat caused all her dough to stick together, making most of her pierogi unsalvagable. (I did have to throw out a few of mine that were stuck together – but the damage wasn’t nearly as bad). We laughed about it, but the moral of the story is, make space! Clear off a table, heck, put paper towels down on the floor if you have to. Give each pierogi room so that you don’t have to endure the heartache of throwing out all of your hard work.

Okay, on to the boiling. Drop the pierogi into the water; I dropped about ten at a time into the pot. Once they all float to the top and the water is back to a boil, cook about 3 minutes.  Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and let them dry on a cool surface.

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At this point (after they have dried), you can freeze them. Place them on a baking sheet first and stick them in the freezer for a bit to firm up. Then, put them in freezer bags to save space.

For the ones you want to cook, melt a generous amount of butter in a saucepan (you can add in onion or garlic as well). Place the pierogi in the pan and cook for several minutes, flipping them occasionally with a rubber spatula. When finished, plop them on to a plate and drizzle them with some of the extra butter.

Pierogi - 13
And that’s it! I’m looking forward to enjoying some more today, fresh from the freezer!

Posted by on April 27, 2009.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: dinner

14 Responses

  1. Hi Tracy! This is C (and your) cousin Lisa back in Cleveland. Wow…you and your friend did a super job with the pieroghies! I actually feel less intimidated and think that one day I can hopefully coax my sisters into making them. The photos help a lot. Your site is beautiful, great photos and recipes…I admire your skill! Love to you & C,
    Lisa
    (p.s. my Aunt Jeannette would be so proud of you…and I will have to show my mom what a great job you did!)

    by Lisa Lyon on Apr 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm

  2. Hi Lisa! 🙂

    Thanks so much! I’m glad you found my blog, and that you enjoyed my post. You should definitely make the pierogi sometime! And aww, thanks…I asked C after I made them if he thought both his mom and grandma would be proud…and he said yes, so I was pretty happy. 🙂

    Hope you are doing well!!

    by Tracy on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:46 am

  3. Yes, I am very PROUD of you. This was a big project to undertake. You and your friend did great! I just wish I was there to do the taste testing….they look delecious!!!!

    by Mom R on May 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  4. It looks like all the hard work really paid off! These look great!

    by Jen @ How To: Simplify on May 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

  5. This is the ultimate comfort food! Well done.

    by Cookin' Canuck on May 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

  6. I LOVE Pierogi! Thanks for sharing this family recipe.

    by Maggy on May 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm

  7. Great-looking pierogi! I made them from scratch once a couple of years ago and I agree – very time consuming! But they sure are delicious 🙂

    by Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker on May 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm

  8. I plan to make these on Friday for our Lenten meal. The look delicious. Quick question however, when making the ones that are frozen, will I treat them like store bought frozen pierogies when I cook them – boil first? Thanks.

    by Kristina on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

  9. Kristina – No need to boil them first, although I do usually defrost them in the microwave before frying. Enjoy!

    by Tracy on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  10. I’ve been wanting to tckle pierogies for years since they are holiday staple for us. Do you, by chnace, have a recipe for cheese pierogies? We go through dozens of them for Xmas and Easter. We buy them from a local Polish deli but my goal is to make them next year.

    by Kathryn on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:53 am

  11. […] Pierogi: As a Polish gal, I sure do love my Polish food. I also love the tradition associated with this recipe, as it comes from my husband’s grandmother who is no longer with us, and I think of her every time I make them. […]

    by Friday Favorites – Sugarcrafter Edition (Episode 125) | my kitchen addiction on Feb 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

  12. Thank you so much. I remember eating homemade ones years ago and never got the recipe. My husband loves perogies and always buys the frozen ones in the box at the grocery store. It will be a real treat to make homemade ones at home. Can’t wait!!!!!

    by Mary on Feb 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

  13. […] Source: sugarcrafter.net via Michelle on Pinterest Visit the local Farmer’s Market. The fresh fruit and veg are a sight […]

    by Krakow – Where Shall we Go? What Shall we see? | Cupcakes & Wanderlust on Sep 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

  14. […] we’ve decided to do it again this year. Come Sunday our table will be filled with homemade pierogi, Polish babka, sausage & sauerkraut, and of course seasonal veggies (and yes, ham too). Since […]

    by Easter Nests | Sugarcrafter on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →