A Polish friend recently hosted a day of pierogi making. She invited all the foreigners in our International Book Club. It was apparent our hostess was a teacher. Much thought had gone into the traditional Polish recipes we would prepare.
Of course, the iconic pierogi had to be one of our lessons. With so many filling options, we made this authentic ruskie filing for pierogi, Gosia’s favorite Polish pierogi dough recipe, as well as a sweet filling, and cold beet soup.
This was the first time I’ve made the pierogi ruskie, a traditional filling of potatoes and cheese. Many assume that ruskie means this is a Russian filling, but that’s not the case. The dish originates from an area of Ukraine that at one time was part of Poland. It translates to Ruthenian pierogi.
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It would be really difficult to choose, but this may be my favorite. If you’re looking for pierogi filling ideas, this is overwhelmingly popular! You can’t beat the combination of flavors, and the potato 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, but if you can’t find it or don’t have time to make your own, this recipe will also be delicious if you use cottage cheese and potato to make your filling. It’s really easy! I hope you and yours have fun making pierogi!
The most popular pierogi ever, with potato and cheese filling!
- 6 small potatoes, boiled, peeled, and riced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 1 1/4 cups twarog (or substitute ricotta or cottage cheese)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- smoked bacon, diced, for garnish
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 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, 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 filling 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 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
Optional: my friend added 2 teaspoons of Maggi to her filling and some have suggested that soy sauce is a better substitute.
My other versions of pierogi: