Pierogi are possibly the most popular typical Polish dish. They are a kind of patty that is boiled (dumplings) and optionally fried later. Although it can be filled with anything, one of the most famous options is the pierogi ruskie ("Russians") that we are going to make.
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500 gr white cheese (cottage cheese I used)
500 gr potatoes
1 tablespoon Butter
2 teaspoons Salt
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500 gr flour
80 gr Butter
200 ml Hot water
2 teaspoons Salt
- It is convenient to start by saying that the amounts in the ingredients are difficult to specify, since the width of the resulting dough will determine the number of wafers and therefore the amount of filling required. The amounts indicated will give you plenty to complete our recipe.
- I must also point out that I have used cottage cheese as white cheese. In Poland they use a typical cheese. Stronger white cheeses than cottage cheese will produce more intense flavors. You can experiment.
- We start, as always, with the "mise en place", that is, bringing everything we need to hand:
4.Peel the potatoes, cut them into thin slices and boil them in plenty of salty water.
5.Meanwhile, we peel the onions and chop them in "brunoise" in not very small pieces. In a pan we put a little butter and brown the onion over medium heat. We brown it a point more than normal, that some pieces are dark. We set aside some in a small bowl to decorate the finished dish.
6.The moment to stop cooking the potatoes will be determined by their hardness. We need them a little harder than for mashing; We can mash them with a fork but not completely pulverize them.
7.In a large bowl we crumble the cheese, and add the onion, potatoes, two teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste.
8.Remember that almost all the flavor of the dish will come out of the filling, so do not cut yourself by giving it one more pinch of salt or pepper if it needs it. When the filling is ready, we reserve.
9.We get the dough for the wafers by putting the flour in a bowl, and making a hole in the center (volcano). We put the butter inside and pour out the hot water. Then with a fork we begin to mix from the inside out.
10.When the fork is no longer useful due to the solidity of the mixture and the water no longer burns, we remove the entire contents of the bowl on a very clean table and work on it, kneading with our hands until we have a homogeneous paste.
11.The dough is too large to roll out in one piece. We make two halves and each of them we spread it on the table with a rolling pin as much as we can. The thickness of the wafers should be less than one millimeter.
12.From this moment until when we boil the pierogi it is very important to conserve the humidity of the dough. For this we will work quickly and we will always keep any portion of dough and wafers with which we are not working covered with a clean cloth.
13.Then, with a glass of about 9 cm at the top, we cut the wafers making the most of the spaces between them to waste as little mass as possible. We reserve the already cut wafers always covered with a cloth.
14.With a teaspoon we are calculating the amount of filling that fits in each wafer. It is important that the filling does not overflow! Remember that each pierogi has to survive cooking and then pan. Therefore, the edges of each wafer where we close the pierogi must be clean.
15.The wafer folds and closes. The closure is done by pinching the upper end of the edge with the thumb and index finger, moving the fingers one over the other with light pressure, and repeating this gesture along the edge of the pierogi. Besides closing the pierogi, it gives it a very nice shape.
16.Now you have to boil the pierogi for 10 minutes over medium-high heat in a saucepan that we cover. Before we will have salted the water and added a drizzle of oil. I advise you to put the pierogi in the water before it boils hard; it will help to keep them from opening.
17.They are removed and drained on a cloth that does not release thread (better cotton).
18.Put a little butter in a pan and when it is hot put the pierogi to brown on both sides.
19.They are placed in a bowl and garnished with the reserved onion.
20.You have to eat them hot. Bon Appetite! Or as they say in Poland ... Smacznego
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