There are certain things I never ate growing up, being German we never had pierogies, dumpling yes (though I wasn’t a huge fan of them) but I didn’t have pierogies until after I moved in with my husband.
A couple of years ago I decided to try and make them myself, so I went to the only expert I could, Martha Stewart. This is technically her recipe. I just added a couple extras to the filling, but the dough is hers right Here.
I probably make mine smaller than hers and let’s be honest they aren’t perfect looking, but at the end of the day when my husband says they are the best pierogies he has ever had, that’s all that matters.
These make a lot, seriously a lot. So if you don’t have a ton of room in your freezer, think about sharing some with family. I will be giving some to my mom and dad, but the rest will go into out freezer for the winter. (There is so much filling, you could technically double the amount if dough, but I’m not that ambitious.)
You start by making the potato filling. 5 lbs of potatoes. Peeled, diced and boiled. Once they are fork tender, drain and let the potatoes steam for a few minutes (place the stainer filled with the potatoes on top of the pot and cover with a towel and place on the stove to steam). Then run the potatoes through a ricer (or mash them, but next time your out or your thinking of a great present for yourself, get a potato ricer, trust me you won’t regret it). Then mix in all the rest of the ingredients (melted butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, cream cheese and grated cheddar cheese). It’s a lot of mixing and thankfully my husband helped out with this part.
Allow the potato mixture to cool while you make the dough. (Be warned this makes a lot of potato filling, I only use just over half, and use the rest for potato bacon poppers).
Martha makes the dough by hand, but I have a kitchenaid so I use that and it’s a lifesaver. For this part I follow her recipe (1 egg, 2 Tbsp. Sour cream, 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 4 1/2 to 5 cups four), I just do this in my stand mixer. Start by whisking the egg, sour cream, water and milk together, then put the bowl onto the stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, and on speed 2 slowly start adding in the flour. Once all the flour is added in turn the mixer up to speed 3 and knead the dough for 7 minutes. Then turn the dough out onto the counter, dust lightly with flour and knead a couple of times. Place dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rest for one hour.
Once the dough has rested, and the potato mixture had cooled, divide the dough into 4 pieces, line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, and start rolling out your dough, one piece at a time, on a lightly floured surface.
*Here’s a tip when trying to form the pierogies, scoop out the potato mixture onto a sheet pan, and pop in the freezer for an hour, to freeze the scoops, making it easier to stretch the dough around the potato filling, so you don’t have soft mashed potatoes squishing out the sides and end up getting frustrated and give up. It takes a lot of practice to be able to form the pierogies with the soft potato mixture and not make a huge mess (my husband helped and there were a few that went in the garbage because they weren’t salvageable).
Using a round biscuit cutter, mine is about 2″, cut out circles as close together as possible. Then place the mounds of the potato mixture on to the circles. Then comes time to close these suckers up. This dough is incredibly stretchy, so simply pull the edges of the dough together, starting in the centre and working your way to the corners, pinching the seam together (make sure there’s no potator mixture in between the dough, otherwise it won’t seal properly and when you go to boil them they will pop open). Place on your baking sheet and once you have one baking sheet filled pop it into the freezer to start freezing the pierogies.
Once all the pierogies are made and frozen, you can store them in freezer bags and then just drop them into salted boiling water, let them cook until they float to the top and let them cook another minute or two. Then we put them into a sauté pan with a little olive oil/butter combo and fry them slightly so they get a little brown. Serve with sour cream, bacon bits, or whatever you wish.
Makes a lot, depending on how big or small you make them (I got 8 1/2 dozen, although if I had made a double batch of dough I could have gotten a lot more)
Recipe from Martha Stewart here
2 Tbsp. Sour cream
1 cup water
1 cup milk
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled, diced, boiled, mashed
1 Tbsp. Onion powder
2 tsp. Pepper
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. Butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 to 10 ounces medium cheddar, grated
- Peel, dice and boil potatoes. Drain and let potatoes steam for a few minutes, then run through a ricer or mash (though I don’t have that kind of energy so I use my ricer).
- Add in the rest of the filling ingredients and using a masher or wooden spoon, mix everything together thoroughly. (I usually end up using my hands but be warned the potatoes are hot so if you don’t have asbestos hands maybe don’t do it this way).
- Let the potato mixture cool. **It is here where I would scoop out the potato mixture onto a sheet pan and start freezing the little balls of potota to make it easier when it comes to filling the pierogies**.
- Next up is making the dough. In the bowl of my stand mixer I whisk together the egg, sour cream, water and milk, then with the dough hook attached to the mixer, and turned to speed 2 of my Kitchenaid, I slowly start adding in the flour, 1 cup at a time. Once all the flour has been aded, turn to speed 3. Then I allow the mixer to knead the dough for 7 minutes. Remove the dough from the stand mixer bowl, and knead by hand 10 to 15 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and let rest for 1 hour.
- After the hour is up, divide the dough into 4 portions (I find it easier to work with smaller portions of dough, but if you have a super huge kitchen and have room to roll out all the dough at once, go right ahead). Take out the potatoes from the freezer.
- Take one portion of dough and cover up the rest so they don’t dry out. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 ” thick, you don’t want it so thin that it won’t stretch any more and tear, so just this for yourself. Using a 2 to 2 1/2 ” biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, try doing this as close together as possible, then remove the scraps and place back into the bowl with the other dough to allow this to rest, as this dough can be re-rolled several times, but it needs to rest before it can be rerolled.
- Then place a scoop of potato onto each round and placing one circle of dough into the palm of your hand, with the potato on top, stretch the dough over the top (center) and pinch the seam together, working towards the ends on either side. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Once you have one baking sheet filled, pop into the freezer and continue with the remaining dough.
- Once all the pierogies are frozen, store in a ziploc bag in the freezer.
- To cook, simply place in boiling salted water, cooking until they float to the top and let them float for about a minute, then transfer to a pan with some butter and olive oil (which has been heating up) and fry for a couple of minutes just to get slightly crispy.
**This makes a lot of filling, so if you want to use up the entire amount of filling in pierogies, make a double batch of dough – I scoop out the rest of the potatos after adding in some chopped bacon and freeze them up, so that we can use them as potato bacon poppers as well. Two recipes in one. Or you can simply half the filling recipe**