Pierogi ruskie

Makes 40
2 hours

Ingredients

Pierogi dough

  • 1kg plain flour, or 00 pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 250ml of water, lukewarm

Pierogi ruskie filling

  • 1kg large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 300g of twaróg, quark, curd cheese or cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, preferably organic
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 large white onion, very finely chopped

Method

1
Make the filling to start with, as this will need time to cool completely before being used to fill the pierogi. Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and leave to dry out completely
2
Mash the potatoes, add the curd cheese or cream cheese and mash together – I like to put the mixture through a potato ricer, to make sure the potatoes and cheese are very well combined
3
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Cook the onion over a low heat for at least 10 minutes or until completely soft and slightly caramelised. Leave to cool slightly
4
Add the onion to the mashed potato mixture and season well with salt and pepper. Leave to cool completely before filling the pierogi. You can make this filling up to 2 days in advance
5
To make the dough, sift the flour onto a large wooden board or work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and the oil along with a few tablespoons of warm water. Using a knife, begin to mix together, adding a little more water 1 tablespoonful at a time. At first the dough will be quite soft and sticky. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball
6
Once the dough has come together, knead it on a floured surface for 4–5 minutes. The dough should become quite elastic. If it is too wet, add a little more flour. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes
7
Divide the dough in half and keep one half covered with a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out the dough until it is about 3mm/1⁄8in thick
8
Have a floured tray or board to hand. Using a pastry cutter or an inverted glass tumbler, cut out 8cm/3in circles of dough. Continue until all the dough is used. Cover the circles with a damp tea towel until you are ready to start filling – or cut out a few circles at a time and fill them as you go along, keeping the dough covered with a damp tea towel
9
To fill the pierogi, place a circle of dough in the palm of your hand and add a teaspoon of filling in the centre of the circle. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling. Using your thumb and finger, pinch the dough along the edge so that the pierogi is well sealed. Lay the pierogi in rows on the floured tray and cover with a damp tea towel while you make the rest
10
To cook the pierogi, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Carefully drop the dumplings in one at a time (you can probably cook around eight in a standard pan). Keep the water at a gentle boil. The pierogi are cooked when they float up to the top, usually after 2–3 minutes
11
Lift them out using a slotted spoon, drain in a colander and set aside while you cook the rest. You can serve the pierogi boiled, as they are, or you can gently fry the boiled pierogi in a frying pan with a little vegetable oil or butter so that they pick up a little golden colour