Pierogi Ruskie | Polish Dumplings with Cheese and Potatoes

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This delicious recipe is from Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan.

Read my review of Wild Honey and Rye here, and enter my giveaway to win your own copy.

Pierogi
Image by Yuki Sugiura, used with permission

Pierogi are probably the first Polish dish I tried, many years ago in a small local Polish cafe that has long since closed.

In her introduction to the savoury and sweet pierogi recipes in her book, Ren discusses the origins of these delicious Central and Eastern European dumplings; variations are found not only in Poland but also in Belarus, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, the Ukraine…

Indeed, although this recipe for cheese and potato filled pierogi originated in the Kresy region of Poland, where Ren’s father was born, they remind me of the vareniki Pete made many years ago, for a vodka, pelmeni and vareniki dinner party we enjoyed with friends.

Pierogi are also somewhat similar to East Asian dumplings and Italian ravioli – clearly many people the world over love the comforting joy of filled dumplings!

In Ren’s book, the recipe for making pierogi dough is provided separately to the various fillings recipes. I have combined both below to provide the complete steps for making Ren’s cheese and potato pierogi.

Find out about how Ren came to write the book, and the creative process involved, here.

4.89 from 9 votes

Pierogi Ruskie | Polish Dumplings with Cheese and Potatoes

Author Ren Behan

Ingredients

Pierogi dough

  • 1 kg / 2lb 4oz / 8 cups plain (all-purpose) flour or ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250 ml / 9fl oz / 1 cup lukewarm water

Cheese and potato filling

  • 1 kg / 2lb 4oz large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 300 g / 10½ oz twaróg, curd cheese or cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, preferably organic
  • 1 large white onion, very finely chopped

Recipe Notes

Pierogi are easier to make in one big batch. If you wish to freeze them, it is best to blanch them very quickly in boiling water,drain and place them flat on a tray so that they don’t stick together. Once frozen, they can be placed in a freezer bag. To cook from frozen, simply add the frozen pierogi to a big pan of boiling water.

Instructions

To make the dough

  • Sift the flour onto a large wooden board or work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and the oil along with a few tablespoons of warm water. Using a knife, begin to mix together, adding a little more water 1 tablespoonful at a time. At first the dough will be quite soft and sticky. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.

  • Once the dough has come together, knead it on a floured surface for 4–5 minutes. The dough should become quite elastic. If it is too wet, add a little more flour. Put the dough into a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes.

  • Divide the dough in half and keep one half covered with a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out the dough until it is about 3mm/1⁄8in thick.

  • Have a floured tray or board to hand. Using a pastry cutter or an inverted glass tumbler, cut out 8cm/3in circles of dough. Continue until all the dough is used. Cover the circles with a damp tea towel until you are ready to start filling – or cut out a few circles at a time and fill them as you go along, keeping the dough covered with a damp tea towel. 

To make the filling

  • Put the potatoes into a large pan of cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and leave to dry out completely.

  • Put the potatoes into a large pan of cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and leave to dry out completely.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook the onion over a low heat for at least 10 minutes or until completely soft and slightly caramelized. Leave to cool slightly. 

  • Add the onion to the mashed potato mixture and season well with salt and pepper. Leave to cool completely before filling the pierogi. You can make this filling up to 2 days in advance.

To fill the pierogi

  • Place a circle of dough in the palm of your hand and add a teaspoon of filling in the centre of the circle. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling. Using your thumb and finger, pinch the dough along the edge so that the pierogi is well sealed. Lay the pierogi in rows on the floured tray and cover with a damp tea towel while you make the rest.

To cook the pierogi

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil. 

  • Carefully drop the dumplings in one at a time (you can probably cook around eight in a standard pan). Keep the water at a gentle boil. 

  • The pierogi are cooked when they float up to the top, usually after 2–3 minutes. Lift them out using a slotted spoon, drain in a colander and set aside while you cook the rest. 

  • You can serve the pierogi boiled, as they are, or you can gently fry the boiled pierogi in a frying pan with a little vegetable oil or butter so that they pick up a little golden colour.

A selection of savoury and sweet recipes from Wild Honey & Rye:

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wild Honey and Rye by Ren Behan (RRP £20) from publisher Pavilion Books. Recipe extracted with permission from Pavilion Books. 

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
15 Comments to "Pierogi Ruskie | Polish Dumplings with Cheese and Potatoes"

  1. Mamta Gupta

    These look very interesting, I might give them a try. I am saving the recipe now. Once I have tried them, I could experiment with the fillings, I think!
    Recipe copied and saved for now.

    Reply
  2. Jane Willis

    Pierogi were one of the very first Polish dishes I tried too, but I’ve never tried making them. These sound delicious. And thanks for all the links to the other recipes to, I’m off for a browse

    Reply
  3. Jenn

    I just love Pierogies, we buy them in bulk from the Polish women in my parent’s neighborhood that make them and sell them at the local farmer’s market. This is a great recipe to learn to make them myself!

    Reply
  4. Patty

    Very nice recipe for Pierogi! I love these Polish dumplings filled with cheese and potatoes, I was looking for a recipe to make them myself, will try yours!

    Reply
  5. Heidi Roberts

    I used to eat pierogi in the States when I was younger – there are a lot of Polish residents there. I will certainly try to make my own from Ren’s recipe!

    Reply
  6. Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs

    I’ve tried pierogi’s a few times now but never made by my own fair hand! I’ve had a go at making dim sum though so hopefully the technique won’t be too tricky to master! This book sounds wonderful. Will have to put it on my christmas list!

    Reply

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