There’s a good chance that when I say the word “Pierogi” out loud, I’m probably not pronouncing it correctly. Truth is, up until last week when I got an email about October 8th being National Pierogi Day, I’d never even heard of one let alone eaten one. I’m not one to get into all these made up national food days, but I took this one as a personal challenge. I love to cook and even more, I love to cook things that are new to me. I challenge myself not to screw it up big time and take myself on a little culinary adventure.
After watching a few how-to videos on YouTube, I proclaimed myself ready to take on the task of making these. Either they’re relatively easy or I’m a fast learner, it’s debatable. I started by finding a recipe that looked like it might be tasty and settled on this basic Potato and Cheese Pierogi from My Gourmet Connection. The instructions look a bit long and daunting but I can assure you, these are not as hard to make as they seem.
See … this was my very first try … Potato and Cheddar filled Peirogies with Steamed Broccoli.
It all started with making this big ball of dough. Looking back, I really wish I had paid attention to the serving size and portions because I only used half this dough and made over a dozen of the little buggers. Unless you’re feeding an army, there’s no need for that many Pierogies. So word to the wise, if you use this recipe, cut it in half.
The dough itself was easy to make. The difficult part (for me) was coordinating and timing the making of the dough, the resting and having the filling ready.
The filling … oh my gosh, the possibilities for this are endless but in the spirit of more traditional pierogi I went with golden potato, some shredded cheddar and a bit of butter. Most recipes I’ve looked at call for “farmer’s cheese” but it’s not something I’ve ever seen or heard of.
This part is all a matter of boiling some potatoes, draining them, adding the cheese, butter and smashing them smooth. It was probably the most relaxing part of my day, there’s just something about smashing things.
The not-so-fun part of making these is rolling out the dough. I really could have used an extra hand in the kitchen because you have to roll, cut, fill, press and boil these things all at the same time in small batches or the dough dries out. It’s even more difficult if your constantly swatting kids away from your potato filling. I swear they ate half of it before I could even get a few of these filled.
Just a dollop of the potato filling right in the center. Not too much, not too little … you learn along the way with this part.
Then there’s the task of using your fingers to press and seal the Pierogis so the filling doesn’t leak out while they’re cooking.
If you get the dough thin enough these cook pretty darn quickly. After they rise to the top, they just boil for about 4 more minutes. I’d say it was 5 or 6 minutes total for each batch.
I suppose you could dive right into eating them after they’ve cooled but I wanted to make a meal out of them. So I simply browned the Pierogies in some butter and garlic salt and plated them with some steamed broccoli and a little sour cream for dipping.
So are they good.
Umm … YES!
My husband would roll his eyes but I won’t pay no attention to his opinion. If it’s not made out of meat he turns his nose up at it. The true test was handing over a plate of these to my parents who both gobbled them all up. I take that as a pretty big compliment because they’re the pickiest eaters I know.
Now if you just want to skip over the long process of making these from scratch there is the Mrs. T’s Pierogies option. They’re frozen Pierogi’s in 15 different filling and size options, no rolling, cutting, filling and boiling required. I can’t speak for how they taste but I may pick up a box to compare.