I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Little Polish Dumpling

I have had a great many requests lately for some traditional polish recipes. The recipe that seems to be at the top of everyone’s list is pierogi, which is just fine with me as it is one of my all time favorite polish dishes. As luck would have it I am fortunate enough to have an old recipe that has been passed from one kitchen to another for generations, each mouthful brings back joyous memories.

Polish Pierogi

4 cups of flour, sifted
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup of milk or water

Sauerkraut Filling:
1 lg. can of sauerkraut
1 med. onion, diced
4 slices bacon or salt pork, diced

Potato and farmer cheese filling:
5 or 6 med. potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 med. onion, diced
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. of farmer’s cheese (may use other cheese) but farmer’s cheese is more traditional.

Dough: Mix egg, salt and milk or water gradually adding flour while stirring to form stiff dough. Turn onto floured board and knead as for bread. Roll dough into ball, place into plastic bag in refrigerator to chill while filling is being prepared.


Sauerkraut: Place sauerkraut in pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, drain, rinse and squeeze out all the water. Place sauerkraut, onion and bacon or salt pork in a frying pan. Fry until browned adding a little oil if bacon is lean, set aside to cool.

Potato and Farmer's Cheese Filling: Prepare potatoes as for mashed potatoes. In separate pan while potatoes cook sauté onion with butter until tender. To prepared potatoes stir in onion mixture and farmers cheese, blend well.
Roll dough 1/2 at a time on floured board. Cut into circles with a glass or doughnut cutter. Roll each circle again maintaining circle shape to approximately 1/2 its size again. Place filling in each circle enough so that it can be folded in half without overflowing. Travel around edge on both sides with a fork or use your fingers to crimp and seal. Drop into simmering water until each pierogi floats. Place in refrigerator or container in freezer until ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions: Pierogies may be boiled or lightly fried in butter and topped with your choice of caramelized onions, cut up kielbasa, crumbled bacon. Cabbage and or beets make a wonderful side dish.
Some people even enjoy them with a splash of vinegar!



Anonymous said...


Julie said...

Treat yourself and make some.

Giddy Gastronome said...

Hi julie,

This looks delish!!!!!I have to make these for my sweetheart( He is Polish). Can I substitute any other ingredient for the bacon, since I do not eat bacon?

Thanking you,

Julie said...

If you cannot eat meat, just leave the bacon out of the recipe it will still taste quite good If you can have meat just substitute a little cubed up kielbasa in the bacons place.

Tanya said...

Hi, I'm from Ukraine. What you call "pierogi" here is regarded in Ukraine an autochtonous national dish :) In Ukraine these pierogi are called varenyky (ukr."varyty" - to boil), though in the West of Ukraine their name is closer to that of Polish - "pyrogy". These "varenyky" or "pyrogy" could be done with potatoe, cabbage, cottage chees, cherry, rhubarb, meat, liver. The filling is upon your desire. But the most popular are varenyky with potatoe, cabbage, sweet cottage cheese, cherries. Varenyky with meat are usually made a-la Russian "pelmeni". Varenyky are very tasty with sour cream, though some fans of fat eat varenyky with chopped fried onions and cracklings.

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Tanya I appreciate all the great information. I have made the Russian Pelmeni(which I love, I look forward to trying a few of the different fillings that you have described.

Eric J. Hoffman said...

Those look outstanding! I have never tried to make them at home. I need too. Do you make variations with mashed potatoes in them?

Julie said...

Thank you, Eric....Yes you can actually vary the filling in many ways.