Filled with potato, onion and cheese, these are arguably the most popular of Polish dumplings. Once the dumplings have risen to the water's surface they are ready to eat.
- 500 g floury potatoes, such as spunta, peeled, cut into large pieces
- 125 g butter
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 250 g farmer’s cottage cheese (see Note)
- sour cream and finely chopped dill (optional), to serve
- 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 15 minutes
Place 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 125 ml (½ cup) warm water. Using a fork, mix until combined, adding a little 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 2 mm thick. Using a 9 cm round pastry cutter, cut 8 rounds from each piece, discarding excess. Place 1 tbsp 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 1 cm intervals, if desired.
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.
Reheat 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.
As seen in Feast magazine, Sept 2011, Issue 1. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.