Potato and Cheese Dumplings – Pierogi
Pierogi (pronounced /pɪˈroʊgi/ pi-ROH-ghee), also known as varenyky, are potato-filled dumplings of Eastern European origin. These dumplings are popular in Slavic (Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Russian), Baltic (Latvian, Lithuanian) and other Eastern European cuisines (such as Romanian), where they are known under local names. Pierogi are especially associated with Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia, where they are considered national dishes.
They look like Italian ravioli but they are bigger and the dough is made from wheat flour, water, oil, egg and rolled very thin, which is cut into round pieces, stuffed with mashed potatoes and mixed with fried onions and quark, then boiled.
- plain flour - 600g
- hot water - 250ml
- eggs - 2
- butter - 40g
- salt - a pinch
- potatoes - 500g
- smooth quark - 500g
- onions - 2 (chopped)
- butter - 2 tablespoons
- salt - to taste
- black pepper - to taste (freshly ground)
- Wash and peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into quarters and add them to the pot. Fill the pot with cold water, just enough to cover potatoes and add one tablespoon of salt. Cover the pot with a lid and bring water to boil, then cook for around 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Check potatoes for softness with a knife or a fork. If it goes through easy – they are done.
- Drain potatoes and remove from heat. Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes, then mash.
- Let the potatoes cool down. Meanwhile heat the butter in a pan over medium heat, sauté the onions until translucent. Add onion, quark, salt and pepper to mashed potatoes and mix well.
- Sift the flour and salt into large bowl, add eggs. To the hot water put butter and let it melt.
- Add water mixture into bowl and knead the mixture until combined. Add enough flour to make soft dough, that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface. The dough should be rolled fairly thin, about 0.5 cm or thinner. Cut dough into rounds using a 8-10cm round cookie cutter. Shape the scraps back into a ball and re-roll. Repeat with the other ball.
- Place one tablespoon of the filling in the centre of one cut out of the dough. Using your fingers pull the edges together to form a crescent shape. Sometimes you might need to stretch the dough a little). Seal by pinching edges together firmly. Repeat until you have filled all of the dumplings. Keep them on a plate covered with a clean cloth to prevent drying while you are making the others.
- Cook the dumplings in large pan in boiled water about 2-3 minutes, just let them float to top and let water boil again.
- Gently remove with slotted spoon.
- Serve hot with melted butter and sprinkled with fresh ground peppercorn or sour cream or fried onion.