Pierogi (piroghi, perogi, pirogi) is a boiled dumpling, filled with meat or vegetables, or anything you like. It is sort of like ravioli in concept, but the dough is a little different. However, it is quite tasty when served by sautéing in a bit of butter.
I don't make pierogi often - maybe three or four times a year. Potstickers show up in my kitchen more often though, because the wrapper is ready-made gyoza or spring roll wrappers. Dumplings, however, remind me of kozhakattai my mom makes (an Indian steamed dumpling made with rice flour, which can be stuffed with savory or sweet filling).
Two simple fillings this time:
- Potatoes, peas and carrots filling like for samosas: Cook the vegetables together, mash them and pan sauté them with spices and salt - keeping it dry, not adding any water. It doesn't help if the filling is runny.
- Sauteed cabbage, kale and onions filling: just a touch of salt and dill for flavor
I do try for uniform shape, but, am not too finicky about it. And am too lazy, so I made them rather big. They are cuter when the diameter is about 2-3 inches, but mine are about 4-5 inches. One of these pierogies makes a nice snack, and two of these with a bowl of Borscht make a sumptuous meal.
The dough recipe is from here: Pierogi recipe, which has a detailed description of the process and is quite entertaining to read. The quantity of flour here made about 15 large-ish dumplings.
2½ cups all-purpose flour (plus some for dusting)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
½ cup hot water
2 medium potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
2 medium carrots
salt to taste
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 Tbsp canola oil
water as needed
1 cup shredded cabbage
½ Tbsp butter (or oil)
- Dough: start with 2 cups of flour, salt, egg, oil and add a little hot water at a time to make a soft elastic dough that is not too sticky; add a little more flour at a time, as needed, and knead gently till the dough comes together; cover and set aside for 30 minutes to rest while getting the filling ready
- Meanwhile, start a large pot of salted water boiling
- Filling: cook the vegetables (I microwaved them with a few tablespoons of water, in Baked Potato setting); mash them; heat oil in a pan, sauté the vegetables with salt and your favorite spices/herbs, allow to cool a little, while rolling out the dough
- Pierogi: roll out the dough into 1/8 inch thick rounds - the size of the rounds is flexible - smaller the better; fill with the veggies; brush the edge with a little water; fold over in half and seal shut, pressing down with the tines of a fork at the edges if preferred
- Boiling: gently slide a batch into the boiling water - the number in each batch, of course, would depend on the size of the pot and size of the pierogi - preferable don't overcrowd; wait till they float to the top and allow to boil for about 8-10 minutes depending on how large the pirogi is
- Freezing (optional): fish them out carefully, allow to drain on a paper towel; cool and freeze a portion at this point if preferred - use plastic wrap or parchment paper to separate the pieces so they don't stick together
- Finishing: heat oil/butter in a pan; sauté onions and cabbage if using, with a hint of salt; then add the boiled pierogies and sauté till desired brownness on both sides