It’s National Pierogi Day. And if you have never eaten one (yah, like anyone can eat just one!), you need to try these Potato Cheese Pierogi ASAP! You can thank me later.
You can buy frozen varieties in the freezer section of your grocery store. Or if you are lucky enough to have a Polish grocer in your area, they may have them fresh. Better still, you can easily make them yourself.
What is a Pierogi?
A pierogi is a Polish dumpling. Traditionally they are filled with potato, cheese, sauerkraut and black mushroom. They are also sometimes eaten as a dessert. Filled with blueberries, strawberries, apples, plums and sweet cheese.
They are a bit time consuming, but you can make them in large batches and freeze some for another time. Pierogi parties are the best way to enjoy the company of your friends and family and lots of pierogies to show for when it’s over. Nina and I have a lot of fun doing these together. Okay, I make her help me, but she’ll thank me someday.
I remember my great-grandmother, grandmother and great-aunt making it seemed like hundreds of pierogies at the holidays. I used to watch my elderly great-grandmother’s nimble fingers stuff and seal those delicious little pasta pockets and be amazed at how fast they could make so many.
I use Martha’s recipe for pierogi dough, however I do use my Babci’s recipe for Potato Cheese Pierogi filling, which is always the first platter emptied at Christmas. I personally love the sauerkraut and fortunately my mom will always make a special batch just for me. But Potato Cheese are definitely the fan favorite around here and everyone bitches when they accidentally snag a sauerkraut.
Once they are made, you can place them on a lined cookie sheet in the freezer and once frozen toss them in a bag to cook when the mood strikes. Just take them right from the freezer and drop into salted boiling water. They will just need a few more minutes of cook time. Then serve as you wish.
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting pounds (about 10 medium) peeled and quartered Yukon gold potatoes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
- 4 ounces mild cheddar, grated
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- Whisk together egg and sour cream. Whisk in milk and water. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time.
- Turn out dough onto a floured surface. (Dough will be loose and sticky.) Use a bench scraper and turn and fold dough to knead, dusting with flour as needed, until elastic and no longer sticky, about 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough will come together as you knead it. Be careful not to add too much flour, since it will toughen the dough.) Cover with an inverted bowl and let rest for 1 hour.
- Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean linen towel, and dust generously with flour to prevent sticking.
- Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch-thick round (keep other pieces covered so they don't dry out).
- Cut out circles very close together, using a 3-inch cutter or glass. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cold water.
- Season with salt and bring to a boil; cook until fork-tender, about 8 to 9 minutes.
- Drain; pass through a ricer.
- Stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese and butter.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- For each pierogi, form filling into a 1 1/2-inch oval (about 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons).
- Place filling in center of each dough circle. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Holding 1 circle in your hand, fold dough over filling. Pinch edges, forming a well-sealed crescent.
- Transfer to cornmeal-dusted towel, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Repeat with remaining dough circles and filling.
- Working in batches, transfer pierogi to boiling water. They will sink to the bottom and then rise.
- Once they have risen, cook through, about 2 minutes more and remove to a platter
- At this point you can drizzle with melted butter, salt and freshly ground pepper. Or you can saute onions in butter and pan fry. That's how we serve them.
For the Dough
For the Filling
Fill The Pierogi
Watch Martha make pierogies here!
Check out these other delicious Polish dessert recipes!