Potato and Onion Pierogies (Vareniki)

This is probably one of the toughest dishes to make in the Ukrainian cooking, and also one of my favorites that I’ve been wanting to master for a LONG time! Finally, last night I decided to give it another try, after all the dough and I are not good “friends”, and I wasn’t going to let it win. I searched the net for a good recipe. Just a word of warning, this dish is VERY time consuming, if you plan on making it, I suggest you carve out a good 2-3 hours for yourself (especially if you’re a beginner cook).

The original recipe is from a blog I’ve been following and once I found this recipe it certainly motivated me to give it a try. So here is my version:

Ingredients


2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Butter and onions for sauteing
Ingredients for filling of your choice (Potato & Cheese filling recipe below)

Pierogi Dough


To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the ½ cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this.

Prepare the Pierogies


Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/16″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3½″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.

Boil the pierogies a few at a time in a large pot of water for about 8-10 minutes.

Saute sliced onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Top pierogies with fried onions and serve with sour cream.


Potato and Onion Filling

1 lb red potatoes
¼ of a large onion, finely chopped
Salt & pepper

Peel and boil potatoes until soft. While the potatoes are boiling, saute onion in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions, adding salt and pepper to taste. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1″ balls.


Tips:

If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.

If you don’t want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.

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