Being from Poland I have had the pleasure of moms home cooking being recipes from our culture. Sure I have helped out in the kitchen growing up but never really made any of our dishes from start to finish. Having found this new love of food and cooking this year I needed to get my hands on recipes from my homeland. I had already gotten Bigos (sauerkraut stew), Kapusniak (sauerkraut soup) and Sałata Ziemniakowa (potato & veggie salad) recipes under my belt but Pierogis is one that I had never dared to try and make…. Until now!
I asked my mom to come over and help me as I was not ready to battle this out on my own yet. I must say what a FANTASTIC day in the kitchen. Not only the cooking but the sharing of laughs and dancing to Abba and let’s not forget the champagne! These are truly the moments in life I cherish.
So I am proud to say the Pierogies turned out great! And for those of you who want to give it a try at home here is what you need… and it’s all done by eying it out no measuring cups here. Oh and it’s a lot of work!
Flour / Water / Egg / Onions /Potatoes / Compressed Cottage Cheese / Salt & Pepper
And some muscles!
Start by pealing and chopping up a bunch of potatoes, put them in a pot and boil. While that’s going on in a mixing bowl add flower and one egg and start adding a little water and kneading it into dough. Back in the day they didn’t have fancy mixers and it was all done by hand and that’s what we need today – this is where the muscles are needed! Keep adding water until you get the right consistency in your dough. Once you have the dough ready cover it and let it set for 15-20 minutes. By this time your potatoes are ready, drain them and start mashing them up. Let the potatoes sit in order to cool. Once they are cooled down add a package of compressed cottage cheese, we just used a fork to separate it and mix it all together, here is also where you want to season the cheese and potato mixture with salt and pepper. Your Pierogi filling is ready!!!!
Back to the dough: now you need to roll out the dough I would say eye it out to the thickness of about a loonie. You don’t want to go too thin as you will need a little stretching room when you put the filling in.
Cut the dough into palm size circles and add a teaspoon of the potato and cheese filling, pinch around to close it up. Repeat Repeat Repeat! Now two more things: a frying pan with sliced onions needs to go on and a pot of salted water needs to be brought to a boil. Did I mention it was a lot of work??? Don’t worry we are almost there.
Now you can put the Pierogies into the boiling water, be sure to give them a stir and wait till the float. Once floating let them cook for 2 minutes. Now pull them out with a strainer and place them into the frying pan with onions cook for another 2-4 minutes. And VOILA!!! Serve with a side of sour cream.
The nice thing about pierogies is that you can make a big batch and put them in the fridge for a couple days or even freeze them. I bet if you try these at home you will never want the store bought ones again. The flavor is just so different… maybe because of all the blood sweat and tears lol.