Potato Pierogi.

Potatoes Pierogies

I’ve calculated the numbers folks, added them up and divided.  The ratios are in for the number of sweet things I made for consumption versus the savory—eight to one.  A little skewed perhaps but if you ate at my house you’d understand why.  There’s no point in me making savory items when my mom is around.

So here it is, the savory item of July—potatoes pierogi.  The pierogi is a delicious and heady thing.  A rich and flavorful mashed potato filled with caramelized onion, gruyere cheese, and mustard encased in a chewy but not rubbery sour cream-egg dough that has been boiled until soft and then pan fried in either butter—or bacon fat, my English grandmother would be proud—to produced a dark golden sear that’s crispy and delicious.  Yes, it’s fried carbs, but when you take a bite, it doesn’t even matter.

Hey, there’s fresh parsley sprinkled on it.  Parsley is green.

One might ask, why pierogi?  True, I live in California and yes, yes it is the middle of July.  But I’ve found that pierogi are not restricted to a specific in the way that slightly weaker foods like, say, beef stews or fresh cherry pies are.  A bite of pierogi on a July morning or evening tastes just as good as it does in December.

Potato Pierogies

I confess, I had no idea what a pierogi was until about a year ago.  And it was not a restaurant, a dining hall, or a wandering and wise Polish grandmother that introduced me.  Actually it was a group of very good-looking and well-dressed Upper East side (and Brooklyn) teens that showed me the way.  Yes, it was on Gossip Girl that I first learned of pierogies.  And I have no shame.  Not only can they dress well, but also now I know that they eat well.  No shame.

Grant Achatz recipe calls for pan-frying the pierogi in butter, but we had some leftover bacon fat from breakfast and… it’s worth it.  You’re frying them up anyways, might as well use the best fat lying around.  If one feels the need to justify, the bacon brings out the Dijon and gruyere very nicely.

Potatoes Pierogies

Potato Pierogi
Adapted from Grant Achatz for Food and Wine

Pierogi Dough

2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg and 1 large yolk, beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt

1.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until just combined.   Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead  a few times until dough is pulled together.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature while one mixes the filling.

Pierogi Filling

¾ lb. medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 ½ yellow onions, sliced
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ lb. Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Start to boil a large pot of water.  While water is coming to a boil, brown onions in a pan with ½ tablespoon of butter.  Continue to brown until onions are completely caramelized.  Remove from heat.  When water has come to a boil, add potatoes, skins on, and boil for 15-20 minutes or until soft when pricked with knife.  Drain, and then peel as soon as possible.

2.  Mash potatoes in a large bowl with a fork or potato ricer.  Mix in the caramelized onions, sour cream, Dijon, 2 ½ tablespoons butter, and Gruyere.  Salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble

2 tablespoons butter or reserved bacon fat
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead a couple of times and then roll out until 1/8 of an inch thick.  Cut into 20-25 round using a 3 ½ inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass.  Place rounds on a floured baking pan.  Scoop a flat tablespoon of filling onto half of each round and brush water on half of each round.  Fold round over, sealing the edges and making sure no filling escapes or oozes out.  This is very similar to gyoza making, but requires less finesse as crimping is optional.

2.  Boil pierogi in boiling water for 5 minutes each.  At this point, the pierogi can be stored in the refrigerator for three days or at room temperature for a couple of hours in a shallows baking dish and well coated in vegetable oil.  Brown pierogi in butter or bacon fat before serving.  Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with parsley.  Serve hot.

17 thoughts on “Potato Pierogi.

  1. Diane

    When my mother was still with us I would ask her how to make these and she would always say, “You are so busy, I’ll make them for you”. I’m going to make these and when I get good at it I will teach my daughter. Thanks for making this seem easy.

  2. bookishpenguin

    Wow, those look spectacular. My grandmother (Ukranian) makes them from scratch and they are soooo good. I squealed when I heard the line about Veselka’s on Gossip Girl b/c I’ve wanted to go to Veselka’s for a while now (haven’t gone yet).

    I’ve never made them by hand myself, but you’re tempting me to try. 🙂

  3. jgarfink

    They look great!

    And not to be THAT GUY, but for the record, pierogi is the plural form of the word. Just like paczki is plural. Sorry sorry, but I had a Polish roommate and now it always bugs me (=

  4. Sudeshna

    We Bengalis (people from the Eastern part of the Indian subcontinent and Bangladesh) are a great fan of potatoes. We try to put potatoes in every dish. These pierogi looks simple and easy to make, I’ll try them out someday. We even prepare a dish called puli pithe in Bengali, the fillings is of sweetened desiccated coconut and boil it in milk and jaggery.

  5. Tim

    I’m pretty sure my ratio of sweet to savory would be the opposite! These look and sound delicious. I had no idea Grant Achatz published ‘normal food’ recipes — this’d have to be the easiest recipe of his I’ve seen.

  6. Олег

    Свобода слова на блоге – это всегда хорошо! Главное, чтобы общественности было что Вам сказать 🙂

  7. Sue

    These pierogi pictures and recipe made me hungry, and I just finished dinner! I’ve been wanting to find a recipe to make these. I had a friend that used to make them and it was always such a treat. Been missing them since we moved away. Will definitely be trying these!

  8. Katie Valentine

    just thought I’d add a couple suggestion to anyone trying this. I made it and it was delicious but I would change just a couple things.

    Instead of 3/4 lb potatoes its easier to think of it as 2 to 3 medium sized potatoes (it sounds like a small amount but trust me it is isn’t)

    I used 1/2 of a jumbo onion and it need just a little more onion so I would suggest 3/4 of a jumbo onion would be perfect (again it looks like a lot while cooking but it shrinks up a bunch during the carmalization)

    Lastly only use 1 tablespoon or 1 and 1/8 tablespoon of the dijon mustard. It could have been just the version i got (wegmans brand) but it was slightly overpowering and would have been perfect with just a little less .

    all in all this was a great recipe and tasted delicious =) have fun!

  9. lisa

    these look totally delicious…..but this is not a traditional recipe….
    it’s an upscale adaptation by a chef…Still yummy…just not authentic.

  10. Nicole

    I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it never fails!! We add bacon to the filling b/c my husband (&family) are crazy about bacon. I leave out the onion, mustard and Gruyere just b/c I’m usually making it for picky eaters and it still tastes great.

    Another good pierogi filling is the sweet cheese. Really easy to make: Farmer’s cheese, 1/2 c sugar, dash of vanilla, 1 egg and 1 yolk.
    Thank you for this recipe!!

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