Potato, Onion & Quark Pierogies

I made these last week when staying at my grandmother's place. She asked if I could make some pierogies (dumplings) because, now being 79, it's too much work for her. I said YES with a smile on my face, but on the inside I was horrified! I'm not very experienced when it comes to the traditional Polish cuisine and also I made pierogies only twice in my life.

6 hours after I had 103 pierogies all over the kitchen table. They looked just perfect and I couldn't believe how well they turned out. My granny was very happy when she walked into the kitchen. She said she didn't really believe me when I said I would make them. When I served them with melted butter everyone stopped talking and kept eating. Between the three of us we ate 40 of them!!! That was a pure sign of appreciation and I never felt better about my cooking :)

Now I know for definite that pierogies are not that hard to make, it just takes time, but both filling and the dough can be done in advance, and you can fold and boil them on the day. Don't be afraid and enjoy this beautiful meal!

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 2 glasses of flour (300gr)
  • 1/2 glass of very warm water (not hot)
  • 1 egg
  • some salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of oil
  • 300gr of white crumbly cheese (in Poland we use twar√≥g which can be done at home, but you can use ricotta instead, but make sure the consistency isn't too wet)
  • 400gr boiled potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional some herbs de provence 
  • oil
The filling can be prepared a day or two in advance. Or you can do that the evening before. Either way you have to start with peeling and boiling the potatoes and let them cool down. In the meantime chop your onion and fry it until golden brown. Put potatoes and cheese into a bowl and mash them well together with a meat grinder and potato masher. Once smooth add onion and season with salt, pepper and herbs if you wish. For your convenience prepare the filling by rolling in your palms into small balls and put them aside.

For the dough sift the flour with some salt into a bowl and make a whole in the middle. Add the egg and warm water into the hole and mix it all with a spoon. Once the ingredients are combined take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on the table until it's smooth and elastic. You can add a spoon or two of oil to help with the kneading and elasticity. Once you're done, divide the dough in two parts and cover one with a bowl or a lightly damp tea towel to make sure your dough doesn't dry out.

Make sure to sprinkle your table with some flour and start rolling the dough until it's about 0.3mm thick. I like my dough to be very thin but you can make it as thick as you can :).
Cut circles of dough with a glass or a cookie cutter, put the filling ball in the middle, fold the dough over and press the edges with your fingers to close the dumplings. You can wet the edges with water to make sure the dough sticks together. I don't do that because I learned how to fold them tightly (as on the photos), but this is a good trick for the beginners.

Once you're done with the first batch of your dough, continue with the second one.

Boil the dumplings in a big pot of salty water a few at a time. The water needs to be boiling! Once they float to the top boil them for 3-4 minutes.

Serve with melted butter, golden fried onion or fry them lightly on a pan.


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