Thursday, October 8, 2009


In honor of NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY, celebrated October 8th (see post dated 10/08/09, 5:02pm).

This recipe makes 2 dozen pierogies.

Dough:  2 1/2 cups flour
            2 eggs
            1 teaspoons salt
            Water (enough to form a nice firm dough—approximately 1/2 cup)

Let dough stand 5 minutes in a ball. Roll out and fill. Drop in briskly boiling water and let boil for 5 minutes or until done. Top with butter and onions.

     Filling:  3 medium potatoes
                8 oz. extra sharp cheese (the sharper the better)
                Salt to Taste

Mix flour, salt, eggs, and water to form a nice firm dough.  Divide dough in half and work each half separately until fairly smooth.  The dough should be wet enough to hold together yet dry enough to leave no sticky residue on the hands or in the bowl.

Wrap each individual dough ball in plastic wrap and set aside for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Grate cheese and set aside.  Peel and cube potatoes and boil in salted water until soft for mashing (1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water). 
Place dough on floured cutting board.
Roll dough thin like a pie crust into a 14-inch round and cut into 3-inch (approximately) squares with a pizza cutter.  It is important that the dough be rolled very thin because of its density.  It may take a while to roll out because of its elasticity.  If rolled too thick, it will be too chewy and never seem done even if boiled for a longer period of time.
Drain potatoes and mash together with cheese to form a creamy filling. 
Salt to taste.  Add extra cheese if not sharp enough.  The key to this recipe is its sharp cheesiness.
Spoon warm filling onto each dough square.  Filling may also be prepared a day ahead of time, refrigerated, and rolled into balls before placing on squares.
One by one, fold each dough square into triangular pockets and pinch ends together.  If dough edges are too dry to adhere together, keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip fingers before folding. 
Lay out folded pierogies in single layers with no edges touching, and cover with a clean linen until ready to boil.  Covered pierogies can be set aside for hours if necessary before boiling.  At this point, pierogies may also be frozen in single layers in an airtight container.  Each layer should be sprinkled lightly with flour and separated with wax paper. 
Add pierogies to boiling water (1 teaspoon salt per quart).  Once pierogies float to top, boil for an additional 8 minutes.  Up to several dozen pierogies can be boiled at one time depending on the size of the pot.
While pierogies are boiling, fry 1 large onion and 1 stick butter (1/2 cup).  
The finish is actually the secret to a good old-fashioned pierogi.  Rather than drizzling the butter and onions over finished pierogies (as shown), place butter and onions in a large stock pot.  Add pierogies.  Place lid tightly on pot and hold lid in place while shaking gently to coat all pierogies with butter and onions.

Pierogies can also be served without butter and onions, but that would be a sacrilege.

This recipe was derived from my mother's little black recipe book, dated 1953, the year my parents were married.  It's the only pierogi recipe our Ukrainian family has ever followed.


  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it seems very delightful. I'll definitely try this at home.
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