Making dough for Polish pierogi is quite simple: just knead flour, water and eggs. But…
The jumbo-sized pierogi served in the Polish Suwalki region are usually stuffed with a filling made of locally found mushrooms. In the Malopolska region you will find a variety called Russian pierogi. They are filled with cottage cheese, mashed potatoes and chopped onion. Wherever you happen to be in Poland, you will find local pierogi most delicious.
This is a recipe for traditional Potato and Cheese pierogi. Serve with chopped fried bacon and onions.
Potato and Cheese Filling
1 tablespoon grated onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 cup cottage cheese (or more)
salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons oil
3/4 cup warm water
Potato and Cheese Filling
Cook the onion in butter until tender. Combine it with potatoes and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Vary the proportions and ingredients in this recipe to suit your taste. Mix the flour with the salt in a deep bowl. Add the egg, oil and water to make a medium soft dough. Knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. Caution: Too much kneading will toughen the dough. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Cover and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
Prepare the filling. The filling should be thick enough to hold its shape. Roll the dough quite thin on a floured board. Cut rounds with a large biscuit cutter, or the open end of a glass. Put the round in the palm of your hand. Place a spoonful of filling in it, fold over to form a half circle and press the edges together with the fingers. The edges should be free of filling. Be sure the edges are sealed well to prevent the filling from running out. Place the pierogi on a floured board or tea towel and then cover with another tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Drop a few pierogies into a large quantity of rapidly boiling salted water. Do not attempt to cook too many at a time. Stir VERY gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Continue boiling for 3-4 minutes.
The cooling period will depend upon the size you made it, the thickness of the dough and the filling. Pierogies will be ready when they are puffed. Remove them with a perforated spoon or skimmer to a colander and drain thoroughly.
Place in a deep dish, sprinkle generously with melted butter to prevent them from sticking. Cover and keep them hot until all are cooked. Serve in a large dish without piling or crowding them. Top with melted butter- chopped crisp bacon and/or chopped onions lightly browned in butter.
One of the great things about pierogies, is that they can be made in large quantities, refrigerated, frozen and reheated without lost of quality. Many prefer reheated pierogies as compared to freshly boiled ones. To re-heat, you can: 1) pan fry pierogies in butter or bacon fat until they are light in color or, 2) heat the pierogies in the top of a double boiler or in the oven until they are hot and plump or, 3) deep fry them.