A Polish friend recently hosted a day of pierogi making. She invited all the foreigners in our International Book Club. We made this ruskie filing, as well as a sweet filling, and a cold beet soup. This was the first time I’ve made the pierogi ruskie with potatoes, onion and cheese. It would be really difficult to choose, but this may be my favorite. You can’t beat the combination of flavors, and the filling has enough body that it’s easier to work with. You can make a plump little dumpling and stretch the dough around the potato mixture without it oozing out.
I’ve compared making pierogi to make tamales back in Arizona. It’s labor intensive, and makes more sense when you’ve got a large group of people to work on it – making the dish perfect for extended family gatherings and holiday meals.
For the most authentic pierogi, try making your own Twarog, Polish farmer’s cheese. It’s really easy!
- 6 small potatoes, boiled, peeled, and riced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup diced onion
- 1¼ cups ricotta cheese (this is the closest stateside substitute for Polish farmers cheese)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- smoked bacon, diced, for garnish
- 3 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup boiling water
- Place riced potatoes into a large bowl
- Sautee onions in butter until light brown
- Lightly toss potatoes, with onion, cheese, soy sauce, and seasonings until combined
- Place the flour on a clean work surface
- Add the salt
- Make a well in the top of the flour and add the egg.
- Work the egg into the flour
- Slowly add the water to the flour mixture, mixing it in as you go
- Knead dough until smooth
- Brown bacon and reserve
- Roll the dough out very thin, approx 1/16 inch
- Cut into round circles using a glass or a cookie cutter
- Add a spoonful of the filing to the center of each circle, compacting the filling
- Fold the dough around the filling, sealing the edges, creating a half circle or crescent shape
- When all of the the pierogi are filled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pierogi for use a few minutes
- Serve with butter and bacon
My other versions of pierogi: