Polish Pierogi Recipe

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Skip

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« on: June 22, 2008, 10:21 »
G’Day All!

Over the years I have been slowly extracting my mother’s best recipes from her memory banks.  Like most Polish women of her ilk most of the recipes were never written down, just committed to memory and handed down from generation to generation.

Here, then, is our Polish pierogi recipe.  We love them so much but don’t make them anywhere near as often as we should!  Polish pierogi rule!

POLISH PIEROGI

Ingredients

6 mashing potatoes, peeled and segmented
farm cheese, approximately 12oz (300g)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2oz (50g) butter
salt
1 cup water
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tbsp self-raising flour

Method

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes until a skewer inserted into the segments goes in easily.  Drain and mash with the butter and salt.  Add in the farm cheese and mash again until the ingredients are well blended.

On a floured board or slab mix together the two flours, then make a well in the middle.  Into the well add the eggs and water (with salt dissolved in it).  Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon.  When integrated work the dough with your hands, kneading it well.  If the dough is too dry add more water.  If the dough is too moist add more plain flour.  Continue kneading until you have the dough of the correct consistency (you will recognize it when you have it right).

Next, roll out a manageable portion of the dough with a floured rolling pin.  The thickness of the pastry will have a significant impact on the success of the pierogi - too thin and the pierogi could burst when being boiled; too thick and the pastry will have a rubbery texture.  You will soon get the hang of it when making your first batch of pierogi.

Using a pastry cutter or an upturned glass, cut out circular discs of pastry.  The ideal diameter is 2.5 to 3 inches (6 to 7.5cms).  Take each pastry disc and, with a pastry brush paint the circumference with water, then spoon on some of the potato filling into one half of the disc.  Fold over the other half of the disc to make a half-moon, crimping it down immediately to make a good seal - either with your fingers or the prongs of a fork.  Continue making more pierogi, then drop them into a pot of boiling salted water.  When cooked (after a few minutes) the pierogi will float to the top.  Scoop out the cooked pierogi with a slotted spoon and place them onto a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess water.

The pierogi can be served immediately with a little melted butter poured over them or, if preferred, they can be popped into a frypan and lightly toasted in melted butter.  Delicious either way!

Pierogi is classic peasant food.  Absolutely delicious, whilst reasonably inexpensive to make.

The one distinguishing feature of pierogi is that they are very more-ish!  Even folks with small appetites can demolish several of them!  Furthermore, any pierogi not eaten fresh out of the pot or frypan can be stored in the refrigerator for a minimum of a few days up to more than a week, depending on the filling used.  It takes a few hours to make a substantial batch of pierogi but the work is most definitely worth it!  They are also an excellent way to get kids involved as they can help with filling the pierogi or crimping them.  Also, once the pierogi have been made they can be snap-frozen.  Then, when needed, they can be popped into boiling water straight from the freezer, ready to eat in minutes!

The filling used in pierogi can be any number of different ingredients, so let your imagination run wild.  Other commonly used fillings are sauerkraut, cooked cabbage and onion, cooked minced meat, mushrooms, cooked rice – or any of these in combination!  The possibilities are virtually endless.  The various pierogi fillings make them all the more attractive.

Cheers.

Skip
Skip, in Oz

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agapanthus

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 20:25 »
They sound absolutely delicious!!! Will definitely give them a whirl!! Thanks for the recipe :)

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Skip

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 23:02 »
You won't regret it, Agapanthus!

Enjoy!

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Skip

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 09:23 »
Hi All

I’ve received a query from someone asking to elaborate on ‘mashing potatoes’.  There are basically two types of spuds - floury types and waxy types.  Some are great for mashing while others don't mash well but are better in other uses such as roasting, boiling, chipping (French fries) etc.

These are some of the spud varieties that are renowned mashers:

Arisa
Bintje (Dutch variety developed in 1911)
Kennebec (developed by the USDA in the United States)
Mieke (a newly developed Dutch variety)
Nicola (German-bred, Europe’s best all-rounder)
Rotterdam Red
Royal Blue
Serafina (German-bred)
Spunta (Dutch variety developed in the 1970s)
Tilburg (a new Dutch variety)

Of course, in Britain, you have a number of top varieties.  King Edward is also available Down Under and is one of my favourite baking spuds.  It is in my top five varieties!  How it goes as a mashing potato I don’t know, simply because I haven’t tried it that way.  There are thousands of spud varieties so there are heaps more that are good for mashing.

I am not a trained chef but the way to determine if a spud variety is a good masher would be to trial it along these lines.  Peel the spuds, segment them and place into cold, salted water.  Bring the water to the boil for around 10 minutes.  Drain well, and mash with butter and salt.  A good mashing potato is one that will come up silky smooth (or close enough) and, most importantly, tasty.  If it is a grainy texture and not very tasty it is not a good mashing variety, so best use it in other ways.

As for the size of the ‘mashing potatoes’ I deliberately didn’t stipulate size.  A lesser weight of spuds to a larger quantity of farm cheese would give a pronounced cheesy flavour to the pierogi.  Increase the spud-to-cheese ratio and they will have a more potatoey taste.  It all comes down to flavour preferences.  Once folks have made their first batch of pierogi they will have a view of the potato/cheese ratio flavour they prefer.

I hope this helps folks looking at cooking their first batch of pierogi.  The important thing is to cook up a batch and see what you think.  In doing so you will not only determine the potato/cheese flavour ratio that you prefer, but you will also get the pastry thickness issue right by the time you have finished your first batch of pierogi.  It is largely ‘taste and try’ but after the first batch you will get it ‘perfect’ after that as you will have determined what flavours and textures your palates like best.

Get back to me again if any of you have other questions.  I’m only too happy to oblige.  After I made the first batch of pierogi under my mother’s eagle eye we got the second batch (the next day) spot-on.  It takes only a little bit of trial and error and then there’s no stopping you!

Cheers and enjoy!

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Trillium

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 23:51 »
I actuality, real Polish periogis are made of yeast raised dough, filled with ground meat filling and baked. They're eaten with soup.
The recipe you gave is more of a Ukranian version of periogis and quite delicious. Slap on a bit of sour cream with the melted butter.

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SnooziSuzi

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 23:57 »
sounds delish skip, but what is farm cheese?  (Sorry, I'm not a cheese connosiur and pretty much only know cheddar and mozzerella  :oops: )

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Skip

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008, 00:25 »
Hi SnooziSuzi

We can only get farm cheese in delis here.  It is a type of cottage cheese with the whey pressed out, thereby giving it a firmer texture.  You can read more at this link:

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/farm+cheese

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Trillium

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2008, 04:02 »
We use cheddar in Skip's type of pierogis. Use just enough cheese to give it good flavour, not overpower it.

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Skip

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 04:19 »
Hi Trillium - my mother grew up in the village of Sienawa, almost on the Ukraine border so that would account for her Ukrainian-style pierogi.  Her mother was Ukrainian so that would have further influenced the pierogi recipe.

Pierogi rule!

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Trillium

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Polish Pierogi Recipe
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 05:12 »
My mum keeps telling me her village name and I still can't remember the long, mumbly name, but she came from mid Poland. My dad came from the Ukraine.
Oddly enough most of my friends adore holopchi and borscht but I can't stand them. Give me a vat of homemade Kapusta anytime - and stand clear !  :lol:  :lol:  
A neighbour here, also from Poland, makes perogis like yours but with blueberries rather than cheese. Not sure if potatoes go in or something else. Will ask again. We're all going blueberry picking next month so I'll extract more recipes from the neighbour.



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