It’s been a while since I’ve made these and I kept thinking it was going to be a ton of work. Apparently I had forgotten the fact that the last few times we made these, a bunch of us got together and made something like 48 dozen perogies. Turns out, when you are only making 4 or 5 dozen, and you have a few extra hands, its really easy and fun. Plus it made for an excellent dinner party theme, where you put all of your guests to work and then feast on the results at the end. This time, I went with a simple filling of potato, bacon bits, onion, and romano cheese, but there really are no rules here. I have made butternut squash and chili honey perogies, cottage cheese and dill, sauerkraut is great mixed in with any potato filling, and berries and cream cheese mixed together make amazing dessert perogies. So mostly this is a recipe for the dough and the method and you get to go from there. Have fun!
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups warm potato water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 4 cups of flour and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, water, and olive oil. Add wet to dry and stir until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary until dough is smooth and elastic, but still a little sticky.
2. Cut dough into 3 or 4 smaller pieces. Grab a piece and roll out until quite thin; this will take some work, so be patient and eat your spinach before you start. Using a wide mouthed cup (or a round cookie cutter), cut circles out of dough.
3. Add about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling to each circle and fold dough over, pinching edges to seal. Set on a cookie sheet or platter until ready to cook. Repeat with remaining dough until finished. (The dough is very easy to work with, and it won’t hurt it to be rolled and re rolled a bunch of times). At this point, the perogies can be frozen on their trays and then transferred to freezer bags. They will stay good for a month or two in the freezer, but the older they get, the tougher the dough becomes, so don’t leave them too long.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the perogies. Meanwhile melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium low heat (add onions to this if you want, just make sure to slowly soften them in the butter, don’t fry them up crispy. Or, for dessert perogies, add a little brown sugar and cinnamon). As the perogies float, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the skillet. Cook perogies in the butter for another 5 -10 minutes and then serve with sour cream or yogurt.
Notes on filling:
I filled my 3.8 L pot with peeled chopped potatoes (about 6-8 big ones), which I boiled until soft, then drained and mashed. I then added 6 strips of crisply fried and crumbled bacon, about 2 small chopped and lightly fried onions, and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded romano cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste. We ended up using about 2 1/2 batches of dough to use up our filling, which made approximately 8-9 dozen perogies. I know these aren’t exact measurements, but I’ve never made perogies using any measurements, so this is really narrowing it down for me.
Also, if you want to try the dessert perogies, I usually start with a couple cups of berries and a quarter cup – ish (depending on the sweetness of the berries) of sugar and a Tbsp or so of cornstartch. Heat the berries and sugar in a saucepan until hot with the juices cooking out, then stir in the cornstarch and heat until thickened. You can just use this as filling or you can cool that down and add in some cream cheese (my favourite). The dessert perogies would also be awesome served with Totally Evil Drunken Sauce and maybe some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.