This post is almost 5 years in the making. Before there were tamale and mustard tasting parties, pierogi parties have been a long tradition. One reason I became interested in cooking and blogging was to learn and share our family recipes. Hand’s down, my most popular post is How to Make Authentic German Apfelstrudel and I photographed this almost 5 years ago, wanting share our family’s favourite Ukrainian food: perogies.
This is how my family makes perogies. They are not vegan although my Dad said he might try Isa’s vegan recipe next time. I did not know I could be competitive about perogies until I was invited to a perogie party when I first met Rob. As his family is Polish, he was obviously making them differently (most notably his family uses cheese and uses butter and a special pierogi flour). I am partial to our methods and simple recipe and encourage you to follow along.
First you boil your potatoes:
Fry your bacon. Remove and drain.
Fry your onions.
Mash the potatoes with the bacon and onions. The filling can be then set aside until needed.
The dough is a simple combination of flour, eggs, a dash of oil and water. My Dad is adamant that we must roll out each pierogi dough individually, because that was how Baba did it. Rob’s technique is to roll out the entire dough and use a metal can (as a cookie cutter) for identical shapes.
In any case, we rolled them out until very thin.
And it is ok if they are not perfectly symmetrical
Put a bit of the potato mixture inside the dough
Then add some more and centre it.
Stretch the dough so it you can pull it overtop the pierogi.
Pinch the tops so it stays shut.
Work your way on one half
Until it is sealed on one side, then seal the second half.
Then go over it again to make sure it is completely sealed (exploded perogies are no good)
As you make them, place them on a towel and cover with another damp towel so they do not dry out.
When you get going, you will make a lot. This is what we had made during the second day.
Fresh perogies are best boiled and served simply with sour cream.
You can freeze them after boiling them.
If you prefer videos, this one is pretty good although slightly different than our technique.
If nothing else, I hope you like the photos of my Dad’s fingers making the perogies. I like the lighting and detail and feel it captures a lot of character.
Are there any family recipes you truly cherish?
Baba’s Traditional Ukrainian Perogies
4 cups flour
1 tbsp oil
1 cup warm water
8 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1. For the dough, combine flour, eggs, oil and water and work until it has a smooth texture.
2. For the filling, fry the bacon until soft and brown. Remove from pan. Saute the onions and combine with bacon.
3. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Mash potatoes, combine with bacon-onion mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Take a small amount of dough and roll into small balls (around 1.5 cm in diameter). Roll out with rolling-pin until thin. Place around 1 tbsp of filling onto rolled-out dough, fold in half and seal and prick sides. Try to keep the filling away from the edges. Keep your dough and finished perogies moist by covering with a damp towel.
5. To cook the perogies, place perogies into a large pot of boiling water. When they float to the top, they are ready. You can add a dab of oil to prevent them from sticking together.
6. Serve boiled perogies with sour cream, additional sauteed onions and bacon, or whatever you fancy. Alternatively the boiled perogies can be fried. The perogies can easily be frozen. Freeze in a single layer on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Once frozen, place in a plastic container.
Makes 75-100 perogies.