As you may know by now, I grew up in Detroit. My mom’s side of the family is Polish and my dad’s side is French Canadian. As a child, Detroit had a rich Polish heritage. Many of the local bakeries were owned by Polish families. During certain times of the year you could get fresh kielbasa sausages and these amazing things called Pierogi.
Polish Pierogi Recipe
I was lucky because my mom knew how to prepare them and we didn’t have to wait for the bakery to make them. My family was pretty traditional and food was very important to us. It seemed like during different seasons, we would have different family meals.
At Christmas time, we would have a special type of meat pie. That recipe was handed down from my dad’s side. At Easter time, we would have Stuffed Cabbage. Perhaps better than either of those holiday foods and during the weeks leading up to Easter, my mom would make this wonderful Lenten treats, Pierogi.
For those of you that have never tasted a Polish pierogi recipe, let me start off by saying they are absolutely delicious. The best way I can describe them is a Polish ravioli. Usually, these are served on meatless Fridays during Lent. Pierogi can be filled with a wide variety of things.
Commonly in our household, my mom would stuff them with a potato and cheese filling. However, they can also be stuffed with sauerkraut or cabbage, a meat mixture, or even be turned into a sweet treat, by filling them with a plum or prune mixture. If you were to ask any of my siblings, I am certain that their favorite, as well as mine, would be the potato and cheese filling.
When my mom made these for us growing us, she would make a simple potato and cheese mixture. As I started to make them for my family, I played around with the filling recipe. Then one day, I took a cue from one of my most favorite side dishes, a twice baked potato.
Thus, I began to add bacon, sauteed onions and sour cream to the potato mixture. Let me tell you, once you fill the dough with this flavorful mixture and then you fry them up and add a dollop of sour cream, you are in heaven. For those of you that decide to make this for Lent. simply omit the bacon. You will still have a wonderfully delicious Pierogi.
Pierogi make a great side dish, or even a meal on to their own. When you make these, I would suggest making a large batch. Pierogi freeze well for a future meal.
That said, I can almost guarantee that they probably wont last that long. When I make them, the kids go wild. It is not uncommon for each boy to eat 3…4…5. I think the record is 10. Please give these a try. Your family will thank you!
See us prepare pierogi on our live television appearance here!
Polish Pierogi Recipe
for the Filling
- 2 pounds potatoes
- 8 oz mild Cheddar cheese grated
- 6 slices cooked bacon coarsely chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped and sauteed
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2-3 Tbs sour cream
- 2-3 Tbs cream cheese
- Tbs salt for pot of water for the potatoes
- Peel and dice potatoes.
- Fill stock pot with water.
- Add potatoes and salt to the water.
- Boil until potatoes are fully cooked, or until you can easily puncture a fork in the potatoes with no resistance.
- While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a fry pan using a little butter and some of the drippings from the bacon. You want the onions to brown and caramelized.
- Drain water from the cooked potatoes.
- Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes.
- Add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, bacon, caramelized onions and sour cream.
- Mix together until cheese is fully melted and set aside until cooled.
- Once cooled, form into 1/2 to 2 inch balls.
- While the potato mixture is cooling begin to make the dough.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, eggs, salt and sour cream. Using a fork, stir the ingredients together. You will want to use your hands at some point to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- The dough should start to come together. If it does not, add a little more sour cream or a little milk.
- Once it begins to come together, place on a floured surface and kneed the dough until it comes completely together.
- Wrap dough in some plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
- Take dough out of the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface until the dough is approximately 1/8 of an inch. (Don't get too caught up in the thickness. You want it to be workable and not too thin that the dough will puncture when you are filling it.)
- FYI: Dough should be somewhat elastic while you are rolling it out. This means that it should spring back as you are rolling it out into a circle.
- Use a drinking glass to cut circles out of the dough.
- Place your filing ball in the center of the dough.
- Fold the dough over the filling. You will need to stretch the dough over to seal.
- Using your fingers, pinch the dough closed.
- If the dough does not seal, wet your finger and run your finger on the edge of the dough. This should act as a "glue" to seal your dough.
- You can also use a back of a fork to help seal your edges. This gives the Pierogi a very nice look.
- Your finished Pierogi will have a semi circle appearance.
- Set aside and continue to make the rest of your Pierogi.
- Fill a stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
- Add a few Pierogi at a time.
- Allow Pierogi to cook in the boiling water until the Pierogi float to the top. This will take a few minutes.
- Remove from water and place on cooling rack to drain and cool.
- Continue process until done with all Pierogi.
- When ready to eat, fry in butter in a pan over medium heat until Pierogi are golden brown on both sides.
- Serve with sour cream and chopped green onion stems (optional)
Polish Pierogi Recipe by Scott from Platter Talk