Pierogi are Polish dumplings which consist of a filling (usually potato, but there are many varieties) wrapped in dough, that is then boiled and pan fried. They are insanely good. Even though you can make these with anything from sauerkraut to blueberries and cream cheese, I decided on the traditional route of a potato and cheddar filling topped with a creamy whole-grain mustard sauce. Major noms.
This is definitely a weekend project that takes about 2.5 hours, but the raw dumplings are very easy to freeze and use later. If you’re a fan, I definitely recommend calling in the troops, putting them to work on making a double batch, and freezing some for a later date that you can throw on the table in a few minutes. I would recommend using one of these, since they are a major time saver and a total god send when it comes to making your life easier.
Potato Cheddar Pierogi
Adapted slightly from All Recipes
Makes about 54
4.5 c flour
2 t salt
2 cups sour cream
2 T butter, melted
2 T vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 t salt, to taste
2 shallots, diced fine
2 T oil
1 c white wine
1 c heavy cream
3-4 T whole grain mustart
S & P to taste
Place the potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, mash, and mix with the cheese and salt. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make the dough. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Separately, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, oil, eggs, and egg yolk. Add to the flour and stir to combine, then cover with a dish towel for 15-20 minutes.
Place a large pot of water (does not need to be filled to the top, just halfway) over medium heat while you make the dumplings.
When the dough is ready, remove half from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll to 1/8″ thick and cut 4-5″ circles with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Place the dough rounds on the dumpling press (or just use your hands if you don’t have one), place a rounded teaspoon-sized dollop of filling in the center, moisten the edges of the dough with water, and press shut. If you don’t have a press, use a fork to seal them tightly. Lay the dumplings in a single layer (not touching) on a baking sheet covered with a dish cloth. I would highly recommend setting up an assembly line for this process, or else it will take you much, much longer.
When the dumplings are ready, make the sauce. Heat a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and, when hot, toss in the shallots. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft and starting to brown. Add the wine, reduce for a few minutes until you only have a few tablespoons of liquid left, then reduce the heat and slowly whisk in the cream. Remove from heat, whisk in the mustard and salt, taste for adjustments, and set aside.
Now, make sure the pot of water is boiling and preheat your oven to warm. Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat with 1-2 T of oil. Working in batches (my skillet could hold about nine pierogi at a time), place the pierogi in the boiling water. When they rise to the top (3-4 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon, shake off the extra moisture, and add to the hot skillet. This part gets a little messy with the oil, so be careful! I had about 5 or 6 batches and the pan got overheated a few times, so I reduced it with wine, cleaned it a bit with a paper towel, and proceeded. The show must go on! When the pierogi are brown on both sides (they will release from the bottom of the pan fairly easily when they are brown enough, so try not to force them or they will rip open), place on an oven-safe plate and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest. This process took me about 30 minutes to get through all of them– when I added the boiled ones to the skillet, I put more in the pot of water. This helped speed things along and get them into my belly faster.
When they are all golden brown and delicious, serve warm with lots of sauce. Nomnomnomnomnomnom