Pierogi are traditional dumplings that have been made in Poland since the 13th century. Formerly made for special occasions, they have since become one of Poland’s national dishes with an official holiday on 8th October dedicated to the humble dumpling. Today’s Pierogi are jazzed up with various combinations of fillings. Slavic Linguistics Teacher and CAE Languages staff member Ewelina Budisa shares her family’s traditional recipe.
This is a family recipe of Pierogi and it took me awhile to put together as there was never a written Pierogi recipe in my family; it was passed on to me from my mother and was always a matter of ‘feeling’ the right amount of ingredients with two added flavours: passion and love.
- 1kg white flour
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
- 400-500ml hot water
- A pinch of salt
- 1 kg mashed potatoes
- 500gr white cheese (quark or ricotta)
- 1 chopped and fried onion
- 2-3 strips of bacon (depending on your preference)
- Seasonings: salt, lots of black pepper
- First combine the flour with egg, oil and salt, then slowly add hot water until the dough is elastic and fluffy. The secret of the right dough is to be gentle and delicate – you should be able to mix all ingredients in a few minutes. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour; if the dough is very dry, add more water. Once the dough is prepared, wrap it in foil and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Hint: when making the dough, do not use all your strength while mixing or you will end up with pasta dough, not Pierogi dough.
- Combine mashed potatoes with mashed white cheese and fried onion, then season as per your taste preference.
- Cut dough into four pieces and roll the first piece until the dough is thin (1 mm). Cut the rolled dough into small circles with a cookie cutter or a glass with sharp edges and place one teaspoon of filling into the centre.
Fold edges together to seal the dumpling, making sure the edges are firmly together with no gaps.Follow the same procedure with the rest of the dough. I highly recommend not saving any leftover dough as the dough will be very hard and difficult to fold.
- Boil some water with a pinch of salt. Once the water has reached boiling point, place the Pierogi into the pot of water, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon. Boil for a few minutes and remove from boiling water with a slotted spoon.
Hint: The Pierogi will float the top when ready.
- Fry bacon on a non-stick frypan. Once the bacon is fried to your taste, add onion and seasonings until sautéed. Scatter the fried bacon and onion over the Pierogi.
Serve Pierogi with sour cream or yoghurt and chopped dill.