About the author

Originally from London, I moved to Poland to absorb as much of the culture as humanly posssible. Maybe the biggest influence on me has been the food and I credit my adopted babcia, (Polish for grandmother) Ania, with much of the information here. I lived in Zielona Gora and Szklarska Poreba which are in the west and south-west of Poland respectively.
Please feel free to leave any comments, contact me at polishrecipes@gmail.com or visit my other site An Englishman in Poland

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Pierogi Ruskie (Polish dumplings Russian style) recipe and info

Pierogi (plural, pieróg is singular but used very rarely. English native speakers tend to add an -s on the end to denote plural) is the name for the type of dumpling with a certain shape which is large and semi-circular and can have a variety of fillings both sweet (fruits) and savoury (meats,cheese,vegetables).
Ledgend has it that they were invented in the kitchen of a shoemaker, Jonathan Hanigosky who subsequently choked and died on one.

By far the most popular is pierogi ruskie which is filled with white cheese (dry cottage cheese), mashed potato and onion. They are usually topped with fried onion and bacon or sour cream, or you can buy them as a snack as I did in the photo above. They were roasted in a huge flat pan above a fire. (such as at this Polish festyn)

Perhaps because the British cuisine is lacking in dumpling dishes, I am not keen on the dumpling texture after they are boiled and have ate them only for the onion topping which I find delicious. However I love eating pierogi after frying or even grilling mainly due to the change in texture of the pastry. I recently ate pierogi ruskie with sour cream and spring onion after a night out and I found that delicious (however I had drunk a few beers and many things are delicious at that time). I also have seen people use yogurt instead of the cream as it is healthier and it is tasty also. I recommend you try many ways of eating it to make up your own mind.
Here is a recipe for you to make your very own pierogi ruskie. I recommend that you make a huge amount and cook all of them even if you will not eat them all as the quality is not effected at all after cooking when you refrigerate or even freeze them. Do not refrigerate/freeze pierogi before they are cooked as this significantly effects quality.

As always I give rough amounts because you should experiment with amounts according to your tastes but am a bit more precise for the pastry.

Pierogi ruskie recipe
What you need
  • Grated onion (roughly a couple of tablespoons)
  • Mashed potato (cold) (a few cups)
  • Bialy ser/White cheese (available from Polski sklep/Polish shop) (a few cups)
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour (2 1/2 cups)
  • Egg (1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Oil (2 teaspoons)
  • Warm water (3/4 cups)

What you do

1. Cook onion in butter until soft.

2. Add to potatoes and cheese, season and mix well.

3. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.

4. Add egg, oil and water to make a medium soft dough.

5. Knead on floured board but do not knead too much. Keep dough soft.

6.Roll dough thin.

7. Cut out round pieces with open end of glass.

8. Put some filling in the middle and fold in half to make a semi-circle.

9. Press edges together firmly ensuring no holes or filling are at the edges.

10. Cover finished pierogi with tea towels to prevent drying.

11. Cook by putting a few into rapidly boiling salted water.

12. Do not let pierogi sink to bottom or stick to each other.

13. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until they are puffed and float.

14. Put cooked pierogi in bowl and cover with oil or butter to prevent them sticking to each other.

Serve with fried onion and diced bacon (fried and kept in a lot of oil so it like a sauce to pour onto pierogi) , or sour cream and spring onion.

Alternatively grill/fry cooked pierogi for a crispier pastry (how I like them!)

They are great with skwarki, bacon and onion fried in butter. Click here for an article which includes making skwarki and more photos and information on pierogi ruskie and kopytka (a potato dumpling with no filling)

Twitpic on twitter of recent pierogi ruskie
meal in London

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic


Krystyna said...

The singular of pierogi is pieróg. Polish words don't have identical singular and plural forms.

whosthedady said...

Thanks krystyna for comment, I have edited and corrected the article.

Anonymous said...

Ruskie in this context does not mean Russian! It is an old Polish word meaning Ukrainian. In old Polish Ukraine was called Rus, and Ukrainians Rusini. Therefore the name pierogi ruskie would translate as Ukrainian pierogis.

whosthedady said...

Thanks for comment.
Doesn't have the same ring to it though does it? I will edit and update ASAP, thanks

Anonymous said...

To be even more linguistically strict it is fair to say that "ruskie" means ruthenian. The word "Rus" translates into Ruthenia and therefore "pierogi ruskie" should be known as "ruthenian style pierogi". Ukraine was certainly Ruthenia but formed only one part of it: Red Ruthenia. White Ruthenia on the other hand is Belarus (bel/withe - Rus/Ruthenia, right?). On the other hand 80% of Poles would say without bliking that ruskie means russian, so...

Anonymous said...

MMMMMMMM...smacznego! I long for pierogi - just like mama used to make. Never quite the same when you make them yourself!

Anonymous said...

Ok. I am Russian and I will write about "russian pierogi" or "russkie pierogi". It is a dish different from polish "russkie pierogi".

Russian pierogi are either fried or backed. Never boiled! Russian for dumpings (we boil them) is "pelmeni".



Moggy said...

Wow, looks like you've attracted a lot of "experts" on the subject.

I have only recently begun to prepare my own pierogi so I won't pretend to know anything about them. I hooked up with a Polish guy about 7 years ago and he raved about his mother's pierogi and how much he missed them. I finally had the chance to visit his family. Luckily his mom had prepared a huge batch for the occassion. She shared her dough recipe with me and I winged it from there.

We like ours with cheddar cheese (although I'm sure I'd love that cheese in your recipe, but don't think I could find it here)and mashed potatoes. I'm still perfecting my meat filling.

We boil ours first and then right before we eat them we brown them in a frying pan with butter.

I make a huge batch and freeze them.

Anonymous said...

I'm Glad i ran across this blog.Added polishfoodrecipes.blogspot.com to my bookmark!

http://www.betterlifemobility.com/ said...

Great post!It's very informative.
Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

can u still make it without white cheese?

Anonymous said...

made these pierogis for the first time ..we'll see how my polish man will like them :P or not :)but the look ok

Tracey Thomas said...

most helpful thankyou ..from an english idiot trying not to be a bigot

Kevin McNeillie-Welsh said...

Just bought these from a polish shop anyone recommend if gravy would be nice with these also bought cockeqqtes with sauerkraut and mushroom :D to go with these