Recipe for Pierogi that can’t be beat!

Actual Pierogies frying in a pan.

When I was about eight or nine my grandmother tried to teach me how to make perogies.  I was not a willing pouch of dough waiting to be stuffed with potatoes and cheese. I was more like an adolescent who wanted to be stuffed with potatoes and cheese but was too lazy to help make that happen.  I helped anyway and I sure am glad that I did. Here is my version of that recipe.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup water

Filling

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • ½ finely chopped or crumbled bacon (save the grease) – Vegans should avoid this ingredient
  • ¾ cup old cheddar cheese or Ricotta or any flavourful cheese of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons milk – Vegans should use oat milk, it’s yummy and the oats hardly mind the handling
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Filling

  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked, not too soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes. As you are mashing them add the milk, garlic, bacon (including the grease), salt and pepper. And the cheese slowly to avoid clumping and to give it a chance to melt.
  3. Taste the filling, you want it to be seasoned slightly stronger than you would expect, the second boiling seems to leach out some of the flavour. But don’t go overboard. 

Dough

  1. Start by making a mountain with the flour on a clean surface. Then make a low sided volcano by creating a depression in the center.
  2. Pour the olive oil into the valley you have created.
  3. Stick your finger into the center of the lake of olive oil. Make circular motions with your fingers touching where the lake meets the valley until the oil is absorbed. 
  4. Next start slowly adding the water to the valley a few tablespoons at a time while continuing to make circular motions.
  5. Continue adding water until all the flour is used up and you are left with a stiff dough. Roll that into a ball, cut that in half.
  6. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface until it reaches a thickness of 1/16th of an inch (2mm).
  7. Use a wine glass to cookie-cut circles from your dough.
  8. Take a small spoonful of the potato mixture and put it in the center of a dough circle.
  9. Fold the circle in half, and then pinch it closed. Try not to leave any air in the pierogi or any gaps in your seal when pinching. *If you want to freeze some, lightly flour them and set them aside for an hour or so, until they aren’t sticky to the touch first. ** If pinching is too tiring or you are finding your pierogi are misshapen check out these awesome pierogi presses on Amazon.
  10. Boil the perogies until they begin to float – 6 to 8 minutes. Warning – this is the time you find out if you did a good job pinching in the last step.
  11. Are we almost there yet? Strain the boiled perogies. Heat a non-stick or cast iron frying pan to a medium heat, with the oil of your choice. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

We like to top these with caramelized onions, extra bacon, sour cream and more cheese. My heart is pounding just thinking about it.

Try adding half seasoned ground beef and half potato mixture to the dough for a Shepherd’s pie pierogi. Or, we have even had dessert perogies!  Add a slice of apple or peach to your dough, dust with a little cinnamon and seal it up. Fry it like normal, dab off any excess oil and dust with powdered sugar! Yum! 

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