Time for Polish food! I wanted to make them when I was still in Japan, but I decided it’s better to wait for Babcia to make it. She makes the best pierogi in the world (sorry, mum)!
There are many kinds of pierogi in Poland, ranging from savoury to sweet and fruity. And everyone seems to have their favourite. The version below is called ‘Russian pierogi’ (pierogi ruskie) in Polish, and they are one of the most popular ones here.
Potato and Cottage Cheese Dumplings (Pierogi Ruskie)
for the filling
boiled and mashed potatoes
cottage (farmer’s) cheese / quark
oil to fry
for the pierogi dough
little bit salt
about 100ml milk
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Chop the onion and sausage. Fry it with a bit of oil.
2. Prepare a meat grinder. We need to mince all the ingredients for the filling. Starting with cottage cheese, fried onion&sausage and, finally, potatoes. Add salt and pepper to the resulting mass.
3. Now, mix it all together. Best way? With your hand.
4. Time to make the pierogi dough. It appears difficult, I know. But the truth is, it’s not as hard as it seems.
5. Prepare a pastry board (or other flat surface). Add flour and salt.
6. Make a well in the centre of your flour and add the egg. You can add a bit of oil if you wish, for a richer dough.
7. Beat the egg with your fork and gather everything together with your hands. Start pouring some hot water on the flour and mix small parts at a time into the flour mixture. Mixing should be done by hands, but be careful not to burn yourself.
8. Knead the dough until smooth and sof. Form into a ball.
9. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll each of them, using flour to prevent sticking to the pastry board. Roll to a thickness of approximately 2mm.
10. When rolled, cut out circles using a glass or a cookie cutter.
11. The circles don’t have to be extra perfect. Remember to use flour, otherwise the circles will stick to the pastry board.
12. And now, the hardest part: adding the filling. Place the filling (about one teaspoon) in the center of each circle, don’t try to overfill.
13. Bring opposite sides of the circle together with your fingers. Stick it tightly, otherwise pierogi will open up while boiling.
14. Place the pierogi on a flat surface, sprinkled with flour.
15. Heat water in a pot. When boiling, add some salt and a drop of oil and start adding pierogi, stirring with a wooden spoon after each few. When pierogi start floating to the surface, let them boil for 2 more minutes.
16. Fish them out with a slotted spoon into a bowl filled with cold water, then strain.
17. Prepare the topping. Cut the sausage and onion, and fry with oil or butter until done. Serve pierogi with the topping, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and chopped dill or parsley, if you want.