Pierogi are addicting.
The most common fillings are potato and cheese, ground meat, and sauerkraut and mushroom. Sweet cheese and berries are also popular.
They can be served boiled or fried, almost always have a side of sour cream, and the savory versions are usually topped with diced caramelized onions.
Today, we will work on the potato and cheese, aka ruskie pierogi. Farmers cheese is a must, and it should be plentiful. An additional requirement from Zofia herself–the onion in both the filling and on top of the pierogi should be finely diced and has to be completely caramelized, making them sweet with almost no bite left to them.
The filling below is straightforward and closeeeee to traditional, but as always, you should taste and adjust accordingly.
Once pierogi are assembled, you can refrigerate them and cook them the next day, or you can freeze them for a few weeks! OK, enough already, pierogi recipe below!
This make about 4 dozen pierogi.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Potato and cheese filling
- 2 lb. russet potatoes
- 1 lb. farmers cheese (salted)
- 2 small or 1 large yellow onions
- 1 tbsp. sour cream
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Optional 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Optional 1/8 tsp. Hungarian paprika
In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Then, add egg and water, and mix by hand or on slow speed in an electric mixer. Once incorporated, knead by hand until the dough is no longer sticky. If the dough is still sticky, add flour 1/2 tbsp. at a time until it stops sticking to your hands.
Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 48 hours.
Cut potatoes into thirds and add to a large pot of salted water. Potatoes should be covered with at least 1 in. of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are tender and can be pierced with a fork with no resistance.
Drain water and mash potatoes along with sour cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika.
Finely dice onions. On a pan with 1-2 tbsp. of oil over medium heat, add onions and a few pinches of salt and cook until they are caramelized, stirring frequently (about 11 minutes). Add about 1/3 of the onions to the potato mixture, and set aside the remainder (the remainder will go on top of the pierogi at the end).
Once mashed potatoes have cooled, add farmers cheese and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Roll the dough out on a baking mat or stone surface. If you have a small surface, start with half the dough. Dough should be about 1/8 in. thick. Use the top of a cup or an approximately 3 in. pastry cutter to cut out dough rounds.
Add about 1/2 tbsp. of dough to the middle of each dough round. Fold the dough over to form a half circle, and seal the edges by pinching. You may need to dab your finger in a little water, and run along the edge to ensure a better seal.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add a few assembled pierogi at a time (be sure not to crowd the pot) and cook until the pierogi float. Once they float, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then, use a slotted/colander spoon to gently remove pierogi. Put on a platter. Repeat until all pierogi are complete.
Once boiled, you can serve them with the caramelized onions on top. If you want to fry them, put butter or oil on a large pan over medium/medium-high heat. Add pierogi (a few at a time so each one is touching the surface) and fry until each side is lightly browned. Add caramelized onions during the last minute of cooking.
Serve with side of sour cream, and garnish with dill.