We revived another one of Grandma’s Christmas traditions this year. We made her homemade Polish pierogi recipe.
I don’t know how Grandma did all this work herself every year for our holiday meal. She never asked anyone else to bring anything. She did all the cooking, all the baking, hosted, and did all the clean up. Occasionally I was asked to dry dishes…. and I complained! UGH! How could I have?! If only we had the wisdom of experience and could turn back time to show our gratitude and appreciation…
I am fortunate enough to have my hubby, Marty, help with these little buggers. There are not a lot of ingredients, but there are a few tedious steps, and the dough is a bit “tight” to roll out.
In fact, you would laugh if you would have seen me climbing on a chair and kneeling on the kitchen counter to roll it out easier! Much less strain on the back that way! 🙂
We made the filling the day before and refrigerated overnight so it was easy to roll into little balls for the filling.
It is really important to seal them completely so the filling doesn’t seep out when boiling.
I use a little bit of water on my fingers to help seal, then pinch with tines of a fork.
Boiling only takes a few minutes, and they are done when they float to the top.
When ready to serve, fry the pierogies in a skillet with butter until golden brown.
Then the really yummy part comes when you caramelize sweet onions in butter and layer in between your pile or bowlful or pan full of these wonderful little pasta pockets of cheesy potato goodness.
Pierogies are a Polish tradition and a Pittsburgh tradition. There are even several stores/restaurants that strictly sell and serve pierogies. They can be made with a variety of fillings. Our favorite is potatoes and cheese, but we also love them filled with homemade saurkraut sauteed in pork. Others fill them with a cottage cheese or prune filling. Grandma always pronounced them ‘pee dough gee‘. Some people spell them ‘pieroghi’.
Whatever way you pronounce it or spell or fill it, pierogies are a wonderful treat and another fond memory of my dear Grandma, my Stella star.
Here is Grandma’s Polish Pierogi Recipe:
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 pint sour cream
2 Tbsp melted butter
Potato & Cheese Filling:
2 lbs. potatoes (I like to use Yukon Gold) Peeled, Boiled and Mashed
1/2 lb Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (do not use pre-shredded)
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp butter
For Filling: Mash potatoes, add rest of ingredients, and blend well. Chill until ready to use.
Assembling the Pierogies:
Mix all dough ingredients together and knead until dough is smooth.
Roll out to approximately 1/4″ thickness and cut into 2-3″ circles with a drinking glass.
Add about a tablespoonful of filling to center, then fold over, seal, and crimp.
Place pierogies in boiling water and boil until they rise to the top, then remove.
When ready to serve, fry in butter in a skillet until golden brown.
Sauteed onions – the more the better are excellent served with pierogies.
We also love a dollop of sour cream on top.
Cheers & Hugs,