Pierogi ; also spelled perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, pyrogie, or pyrogy; are dumplings of unleavened dough – first boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions.
I’m going to show you two ways of making cheese and potato pierogies. By hand and by using a simple Pierogi mold. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of the page. I’m telling you now that I’m horrible with using detailed/technical terms about cooking. I’m counting on everyone that tries this recipe to have had at least one home economics class under their belt (or spent some time in the kitchen with an aunt like I did). You can use all different types of fillings (Google that shit), but around here we stick with the one we know and love.
Some quick points.
- One person can make this, but it’s easier and faster if you make this recipe with someone.
- Nobody makes pierogies for just one meal. Have freezer bags handy because this recipe makes a lot. They freeze beautifully.
- It’s not difficult, but it will take time. I usually block out an afternoon when we make them.
Mix together the flour, margarine, salt and sour cream. I use a pastry cutter because I’m fancy that way, but you can use a fork if you’re not a fancypants.
Hollow out the mixture and pour in the beaten eggs. Add milk last.
DO NOT USE A MIXER. Use your hands. This is the part I hate, but it has to be done. Make sure you just mix it (don’t knead it) – add flour as needed, but don’t go nuts.
When it’s all mixed together (so that it forms a nice ball) place a wet paper towel over it and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
While the dough is resting make your mashed potatoes. If you’re using real mashed potatoes you should have them finished (with cheese added) before you start making the dough.
Mix the cheese in while the potatoes are still hot because you want it to melt.
Cheesey Potato Heaven.
Take a small amount of dough (leaving the rest covered with the wet paper towel) and roll it out. Use a goblet (1970’s, baby) or another wide mouth glass/mug to cut out circles. Yes, I have a mess here. It happens.
Drop a heaping spoonful of the mashed potatoes in the middle of the dough.
Lightly brush water around the edges of the circle.
Fold over and pinch closed with a fork. Make sure they’re sealed or you’ll have a mess when you go to boil them. When we make pierogies we usually lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper as we go. Then we put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer. Rumor has it this is called flash-freezing. Heh. After they’ve hardened up, put them in freezer bags and freeze until ready to make. The following steps are used whether you’re cooking them fresh or frozen.
In a skillet, fry sliced onions with butter. You can skip the onions if you’re like me and just melt butter in the skillet.
Drop the pierogies into boiling water – they’ll float to the top when they are done. Strain. You CANNOT skip the boiling step.
Add them to the skillet with the butter and onions. Again, you can skip the onion part if you want, but don’t skip frying them in the butter.
A favorite meal at our house. These bad boys are Eastern European peasant food and I love them!
Using a pierogi mold is a helluva lot faster than doing them by hand.
Flour your mold. Roll your dough out a little bit bigger than the size of your mold.
Lay the dough over the mold.
Fill with the cheese/mashed potatoes. Brush water all around
Roll out another layer of dough and place it over the mashed potatoes in the mold.
Run your rolling pin over the mold.
Lift off the excess dough (which can be used again).
Turn the mold over and plop them out onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Once the cookie sheet is filled up flash-freeze them.
I boiled these for lunch one day – straight from the freezer.
And it only took me a couple of minutes to fry them up.
And then I had a fabulous lunch. Did you notice how half of the pierogie is missing in this picture? I couldn’t wait.
Pierogies re-heat in the microwave really well so don’t worry about making too many at one time (as if).
- 8 cups mashed potatoes (already cooked instant or made with real potatoes)
- 8 cups mild cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
- 6 cups flour
- ½ stick (or ¼ cup) softened margarine
- 1 pint (or 2 cups) sour cream
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 large eggs (slightly beaten)
- ¼ cup milk
- Start by making the mashed potatoes first (instant or real). When finished make sure you have 8 cups. Add the shredded cheese to the mashed potatoes while they're still hot. Stir until melted. Set aside.
- Measure flour into a large bowl. Add margarine, sour cream, salt. Mix together with pastry cutter or fork. Form a hollow in the flour mixture and pour in eggs. Add milk. Mix together with hands. Add more flour if needed. Don't knead the dough (this isn't bread/pizza dough). When it's mixed well, cover with damp towel and rest for 15 minutes.
- Working with small sections of the dough, roll out flat and cut into circles using a wide mouth glass/mug (or use a pierogie mold - see above). Put a heaping spoonful of the mashed potato mixture in the center of the dough circle. Lightly brush with water and fold the circle in half. Pinch with fork to seal. Drop in boiling water until they float then fry in a skillet with butter and onions.
- Can also be flash-frozen and placed in freezer bags. Making frozen is the same - just drop in boiling water until they float and then fry.