You can't talk about Polish cuisine without mentioning Potato-Cheese Pierogi or "Pierogi Ruskie". Pierogi are Polish stuffed dumplings, a little like Italian ravioli or Asian samosa, though boiled rather than steamed or fried. Traditionally, pierogi ruskie are served with caramelized onion, bacon fried pieces or a dollop of sour cream. I wouldn't say they are hard to make, but rather time consuming. However, anyone who decides to try this for themselves would agree they are worth the hassle. As I was making them today I thought it is a great opportunity to share the recipe with you. Again, you can stuff them with a filling of your choice: potato and soft cheese, meat, sourkraut and mushroom, soft cheese and spinach, lentils etc. You may also like sweet versions of them: soft cheese pierogi, pierogi filled with fresh strawberries, blueberries, plums or apples. As you can see there is a plenty of choice. Today I decided to make traditional pierogi.
Potato-Cheese Pierogi (my mum's recipe)
Preparation Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 15 min
2-3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of lukewarm water
500g boiled, mashed potatoes
200g dry curd cheese
1 finely chopped onion sauteed in a little bit of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon herb pepper (optional)
These are polish products I used (all easily available in Polish shops):
- maka poznanska (flour) costs £0.69
- twarog poltlusty (cottage cheese) - £0.99
- pieprz ziolowy (herb pepper) -£0.39
1. Mix mashed potatoes with sauteed onion and cottage cheese until smooth. Season to taste, mix it and put aside. I add herb pepper for better result. The filling is ready.
2. Place two cups of flour in a large bowl, break the egg into it and add a little bit of lukewarm water. Start kneading the dough adding a little water and flour at a time. Make sure water is neither hot nor cold, it has to be lukewarm, otherwise the dough will get hard. Don't worry if dough seems to be loose or sticky, keep adding a little flour when necessary. It should end up soft and sort of rubbery.
3. Now cutting. Place a half of the dough on floured work surface, then roll it out thinly and start cutting with a glass to get circles. Using a teaspoon place a portion of the filling into the centre of each circle. Then fold dough in half and pinch edges together so that the filling is locked inside. Repeat with remaining circles and another half of the dough.
4. Sprinkle a kitchen towel with flour and place stuffed pierogi on it. In the meantime bring water to boil (it's best to use a large pot so you can boil about 8-10 pierogi at a time). Drop in pierogi into boiling water, reduce the heat. When pierogi rise to the surface, let them simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Remove one to taste if they are ready (the dough should be soft). If you are with them, remove all pierogi with a slotted spoon to a strainer and rinse with a little of cold water.
5. Serve warm with caramelized onion, fried bacon or sour cream.
PS. It may not be to everyone's taste, but I recommend you to also try them slightly sizzled in a tiny bit of vegetable oil or butter. You will get this nice, crunchy skin! Smacznego!