Potato and cheese dumplings recipe (ruskie pierogi)
- Cuisine: Polish
- Serves 4
Polish dumplings contain a variety of sweet and savoury fillings, but arguably the most popular is the ‘Russian-style’ filling of potato, onion and cheese. For this recipe, you’ll need a 9cm round pastry cutter or glass.
Ingredients500g floury potatoes, such as spunta, peeled, cut into large pieces
4 onions, finely chopped
250g farmer’s cottage cheese*
Sour cream and finely chopped dill (optional), to serve
335g (2¼ cups) plain flour
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
1 egg, lightly beaten
PreparationPlace potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then place in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Season with salt, then cool.
Meanwhile, to make dough, combine flour, dill and a generous pinch of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then pour in egg and 125ml (½ cup) warm water. Using a fork, mix until combined, adding more water if necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 3, then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
Add cottage cheese to mashed potato, then use a slotted spoon to add one-quarter of the onions. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out each piece of dough until 2mm thick. Using a 9cm round pastry cutter, cut 8 rounds from each piece, discarding excess. Place 1 tbs potato mixture in the centre of each round. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush around the edge of the dough, then fold over to enclose the filling, pressing gently to remove any air pockets. Lightly crimp edges at 1cm intervals, if desired. Makes 24.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer. Cook pierogi, in 4 batches, for 3 minutes or until they are cooked through and have risen to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Heat remaining onions over low heat, add pierogi and toss for 1 minute or until coated and heated through. Serve immediately with sour cream and dill, if desired.
* Farmer’s cottage cheese is available from selected supermarkets, greengrocers and delis.
Photography by John Laurie.
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When caramelising sliced onions, add salt to stop the onions from burning and aid the caramelising process.
Potato Starch is used for thickening and coating meat or fish before frying. European cooking would use cornflour, cream or egg yolk. Arrowroot, tapioca starch or cornflour can be substitute.