So just about everyone that reads my blog is pretty aware of my much-talked-about Italian heritage. Well, I also have a *smidgen* of Polish in me, and this meal pays homage to that blood. Homemade pierogi made it onto my Top 100 list, so when Annie asked if I would be interested in making them together, I jumped at the opportunity. Truth be told, I’ve never eaten a homemade pierogi in my life. Mrs. T’s all the way for me! Traditionally, the only time we really ever ate pierogi growing up was during Lent – mostly because they were an easy no-meat alternative on Fridays. And if we’re being honest, the suckers are really good! Who can resist a half-moon of dough filled with potato and cheese, fried in butter and onions?
I was a rebel this time and chose a different recipe from Annie, because I’m still a little afraid of using recipes without quantities. I know, I’m a big ol’ baby, but what can I say? For as far as I’ve progressed, I’m still very much learning! Plus when I saw a recipe pop up in my Google Reader for Pittsburgh Pierogies, well what can I say? I just HAD to make those, it is my hometown, after all! In fact, the Food Network recently featured the pierogies served at a diner in Pittsburgh not 15 minutes from where I grew up. How fun!
These were a little time consuming, but you could easily make the dough one day and then the filling and assembly the following day. I was lucky – none of my filling leaked out during boiling, so I consider these a success! I would have maybe browned them a little more when frying with the onions, but we were getting so hungry that I just wanted to finish and eat! These were really, really good.
2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Butter and onions for sauteing
Ingredients for filling of your choice (Potato & Cheese filling recipe below)
For the Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling:
1 lb red potatoes
¼ of a large onion, finely chopped
2 oz. cheddar cheese, finely grated
Salt & pepper
1. To prepare the Pierogi Dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the ½ cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
2. To make the Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling: Peel and boil potatoes until soft. While the potatoes are boiling, saute onion in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and grated cheddar cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, or other enhancements if you desire. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1″ balls.
3. To prepare the Pierogies: Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/16″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3½″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.
4. Boil the pierogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.
5. Saute sliced onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy.
Homemade Pierogi Tips:
If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.
If you don't want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.