Pierogies are amazing little Eastern European dumplings traditionally filled with a savory potato or cabbage filling. They are delicious, they are addicting, and they are a heck of a lot of fun to make.
Pierogi night was always my favorite growing up at home. Next time I visit you, mom, I’ll repay the favor with a homemade batch of these babies.
We are going to start by making the dough. While the dough rests, we will roast some garlic and prepare the filling. Then we’ll stuff the dumplings and boil them for a few minutes before sautéing them in butter.
You can prepare the dough and roast the garlic up to a day in advance, and once the pierogies are assembled you can freeze them for a very quick dinner option later in the week. Just pop some frozen dumplings in boiling water then toss them in the skillet just as you would with a fresh batch. What a treat!
First, let’s make the dough.
For the dough you will need:
- 5 cups flour, divided (plus more for rolling)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ – 1 cup warm water
- 3-inch round biscuit cutter or pint glass
- Rolling pin
Divide this ingredients list in half and make TWO batches of dough, separately. You can make one big batch of dough using all the ingredients listed above and then divide the dough, if you like, but I find two individual batches easier to handle and it helps me avoid over working the dough.
1. Combine 2 ½ cups flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup sour cream and 1 egg, beaten. Mix with a fork until crumbly.
2. Add 1/3 cup warm water and gently knead the dough with your hands until it forms a ball. Add more warm water by the tablespoon as needed, but don’t let it get too sticky.
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least one hour, or overnight in the refrigerator. Repeat for the second batch of dough.
Now, let’s roast some garlic. This method will take one hour. You can lower your oven temperature and roast the garlic for longer (making a truly delectable, spreadable paste) but for this recipe, one hour will do just fine.
For roasted garlic you will need:
- 2 whole garlic bulbs
- Olive oil
1. Pre-heat toaster oven to 375° F (or conventional oven to 400° F).
2. Leave the garlic bulbs in tact, skins and all, and slice the top off each bulb, exposing most of the cloves.
3. Drizzle the tops with olive oil, wrap tightly in foil, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the bulbs from the oven and let them cool before unwrapping them.
4. Remove the outer cloves of garlic with the tip of a butter knife, then squeeze the bulb from the bottom to get out the paste in the middle.
Presto! Roasted garlic! Let’s continue…
For the filling you will need:
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 roasted garlic bulbs, with cloves removed from skins
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Boil potatoes in salted water until soft, then drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes, butter, and garlic cloves together. Stir in cheese.
You’re right, add some milk and these would make killer mashed potatoes! But let’s stay focused. On we go…
Assemble and cook pierogies as follows:
1. Roll out dough to no more than 1/8-inch thickness, nice and thin, and cut 3-inch rounds.
2. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Wet the inside edges of the dough with a brush or your fingertip, fold the dumplings in half, and squeeze the wet edges together well to form a tight seal. Don’t be afraid to really stuff that filling in there. We want nice, fat dumplings, and the dough is very elastic. It will hold up.
** If you are freezing your pierogies for later, this is where you stop. Assemble all your pierogies, arrange them on a plate in the freezer, not touching each other, until they are frozen and then place them in a plastic freezer bag and store for up to three months.
Here’s comes the fun part…
3. Drop 4 to 6 pierogies, one at a time, into a large pot of boiling water.
4. When they rise to the top, after about 5 minutes, they are done. So make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot!
5. Remove floating pierogies from boiling water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a strainer. Repeat until all your dumplings have been boiled.
6. Once they have dripped dry, sizzle up some butter in a non-stick skillet and brown pierogies on both sides.
Serve warm with sour cream and scallions, grilled red onions, applesauce, or any other topping you can think of and prepare to be everyone’s hero. Forever. Yum!
Makes about 30 pierogies.
- Fill with prepared sauerkraut for another traditional version of pierogies.
- Replace roasted garlic with finely diced raw shallots, onions, or peppers… anything that tastes good with potatoes will work with the filling, really.