Pierogi Ruskie

We’ve been doing a lot of genealogy for the past year or two and it’s very interesting, to say the least. I already knew most of my heritage, but a lot of it is a surprise, which is great!

My heritage includes Poland, which is something I wasn’t positive of. Needless to say, I/we (Hubby is just along for the ride) have fully embraced my Polish heritage. Well, to the best of my ability at least. I don’t know any Poles, so if you’re Polish and would like to teach me all of the Polish traditions, dishes, language, customs etc make sure you comment below!

One of our favourite Polish dishes, is probably the most well known. It was the one dish I thought, “I need to learn how to make that!” And I’m glad I did. It really has become a favourite, probably in the top 5 homemade dishes we make.

I don’t make it often, because it does involve a bit of work and time, though it is fairly easy.

It also doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, and you probably have almost all of them and a quick trip to a local Wegmans (if you have one around) will get the final ingredient. I will include a substitute recipe if you don’t have a Wegmans near you. Don’t worry, I got you!

This does contain flour, so if you’re allergic or gluten sensitive, you’ll have to use a different ingredient. I do plan on attempting to make a wheat flour free recipe. The littlest is allergic to wheat so I’d like her to be able to enjoy pierogi with us!

Let’s get started!

For the dough:

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup hot water and a few TBS extra on the side
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 TBS oil

The filling:

  • 2-3 Potatoes medium to large size
  • Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese (substitute this for tofu, the firmness is up to you. It’s supposed to mimic a soft cheese. Add a squirt or two of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of nooch, and some chives to taste)
  • 1/2 of a lemons juice (If you’re doing the tofu version, skip this part)
  • 1-2 tsp Soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make the dough first so that it can rest whilst you’re making the rest. It’s EXTREMELY easy.

  • Combine all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add hot water and oil. Once it’s combined roughly with a spoon, finish mixing with your hands (or just do the whole thing with your hands, I’m not judging you).
  • Knead the dough and set it aside for 30 minutes. Cover with a tea towel.

When I’m making the dough, I just think to myself, “make Paul Hollywood proud.” And I’m always happy with my dough at the end, and do feel like Mr. Hollywood is approving of my dough…You know, in a spiritual sense.

For the filling you’re going to need to get some water boiling!

  • Chop the potatoes into small cubes and boil them until they’re soft. I basically cook them how I would mashed potatoes.
  • Chop and sauté your onions

Once your potatoes are done, drain them and add them and your onions to a mixing bowl. Take a pause right here and put more water to boil. You’ll need this water for your filled pierogi.

Take a potato masher, or a fork, and mash your potatoes. Mix them with the onions so everything is evenly dispersed.

Next you’re going to take your Kite Hill cream cheese and add it in. You can add as much or as little as you like. I usually add 1/4-1/3 cup of Kite Hill. You can certainly add more or less. You basically want the filling to be a nice creamy texture.

  • If you’re doing the tofu version: Drain a container of tofu. Wrap it in paper towels and press it between two plates to absorb more water. Add it to the potato/onion mix and mash it just like the potatoes. Add in your lemon juice, nooch, and chives. Taste it to decide if you need more lemon juice.

After you’ve added the cream cheese and in the lemon juice, soy sauce and taste it. Add salt and pepper if you need to.

Back to the dough–

You’re going to separate your dough into smaller dough balls to make it easier to roll out. If you have endless counter space, by all means roll it out in one go, but just know I’m insanely jealous of your endless counter space!

Normally you’d use a rolling pin, but I didn’t have one at the time, so I used a glass. Improvise, you know?

It should be about 2-3 mm thick, so pretty thin! Once it’s rolled out, cut out circles. A plus to using a glass as a rolling pin, it worked double as a circle cutter. They were perfect sizes! Again, improvise!

Take your circles and fill them with a little dollop of filling. I probably put in about half a tbsp. of filling into each pierogi. Play around with how much you add. You don’t want the filling coming out of the wrapping. Learn from my mistake. If you have it coming out, they won’t seal and the next step will be disaster.

  • To seal them, I fold over one side to the other and crimp with my fingers. Crazy easy. If you want to get fancy with it, do it!

Once you have all of them filled and sealed, take them to your boiling water. Drop in a few at a time. I usually do 6-7 at a time. Boil them for maybe 3-4 minutes. It’ll depend based on how thick your dough is. Boil all of them. When you’re taking them out of the water, do not put them on a paper towel to soak excess water. I may or may not have done that and it was an awful life choice.

Transfer them from the water to an oiled skillet to finish. You’ll want to cook them on both sides until they’re golden brown and crispy.

Eat them immediately. I mean, let them cool down a bit, but eat them fresh. Reheated, they’re still good, but no where near as good as they are fresh.

I’ve only gotten this recipe to make around 15 pierogi. That’s probably because I don’t have a rolling pin, so I have issues re-using the cut dough as it gets harder to roll with a glass. If you have a rolling pin and are able to roll all of your dough, it’d easily make around 30.

Traditionally, they’re served with a side of sautéed onions, which you can totally do. We do it sometimes. However, we’re a family of sauce lovers. So I make a crazy simple sauce to dip them in. It’s just mayo and mustard. About a 1:.5 ratio of mayo to mustard.

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