Potato Pierogi

 I watch a lot of TV, specifically shows about food.  I like seeing all the different types of foods and I enjoy trying to cook some of the things I see on TV.  In the past couple of weeks I have seen Pierogi being made on 3-4 different shows and was intrigued.  I have never eaten a pierogi and was curious if they could be as delicious as they looked on TV.

On one of the shows I was watching the host was at a restaurant in Minneapolis and was featuring the potatoes pierogi from a bar and restaurant I have been to several times and did not know that they were famous for their pierogi.  After looking into it a little bit, it turns out several restaurants and bars that I have been at have them on their menu's and I just didn't notice.

The pierogi is a dumpling of sorts that originated in eastern and central Europe and are most connected to polish cuisine.  However , there are many different variations depending on where you are.  The most basic recipes are just a mixture of flour and water to form a dough and then rolled out and cut into small circles that are filled with potatoes.  The fillings range from sauerkraut to meat to fruit. After the pierogi are formed they are first boiled in salted water then fried or baked.  Frying in butter with onions seems to be the most popular method.

For my first batch of pierogi I chose to go simple and just make a potato filling.  I combined a few of the recipes I had seen on TV and modified them to fit what I had.  Chef Michael Symon's pierogi dough is made with flour, sour cream, butter, egg, salt and chives.  I just happened to have a container of Top a Tator in the fridge and figure I could just use it instead of the sour cream, salt and chives.  My filling was very simple, just mashed potatoes with cream cheese and roasted garlic.

My first batch of pierogi were a success and were very simple to make.  My wife and daughter thought they were delicious and fun.  I really enjoyed the little bits of browned onion that stuck to the dough while I was frying them in butter.  The dough had a great texture and the potatoes were creamy and delicious.  After eating all that I made I was talking with my wife and we both agreed that the potato filling was great but the pierogi might be even better with some sort of meat filling.  I was thinking about using duck, maybe duck confit or just a duck and sage sausage would be good.  

Potato Pierogi

for frying the pierogi

8 tablespoons  butter
1 small onion finely diced


2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling out the dough)
3/4 cup top a tator 
8 tablespoons of softened butter
1 large egg

mix all ingredients together and form a ball, don't over work.  Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for 2 ours or overnight. 

Potato filling

1 pound yukon gold potatoes
8 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons roasted garlic

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, then mash together with cream cheese and roasted garlic

Roll out your dough until about an 1/8 inch thick then cut out circle with a cookie cutter (about 3-4 inches in diameter)  place dough in the middle of the circles and fold over.  Crimp the dough with the tines of a fork and then boil the pierogi for 2-3 minutes.  When they are floating they are done.  Take the pierogi out of the water and brown them in butter for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.  For extra flavor dice a small onion and brown in the butter before you put the pierogi in.