Pierogi is a traditional Polish dish, that is also common across Russia and other Eastern European countries. I was introduced to pierogi through my wife’s Polish family – this is one of the many great courses that we have at Christmas Eve every year. But they are great to eat all year round, and are fun to make with the kids.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 375g quark
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 tabs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup hot water (from the tap)
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • Sour cream, to serve

Method

1.     Heat the oil in a frying pan, and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt over medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.

2.     At the same time, boil the potatoes whole until they are cooked through.

3.     Peel the potatoes mash them (or better yet, push them through a potato ricer or drum sieve).

4.     Mix together the quark, potato and onion, and season with salt and pepper.

5.     To make the dough, mix together the flour, hot water and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until well combined. Knead on a lightly floured bench for 3-4 minutes until the dough is smooth. Wrap in cling film, and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

6.     Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and roll out to about 2mm thick.

7.     Cut circles of dough about 8cm diameter, and place a heaped teaspoon of the filling mixture in the middle.

8.     Brush a little water on one half of the dough, fold over and press the edges together to seal.

9.     Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and add about 1 teaspoon of salt.

10.  Cook the pierogi in batches, and transfer to a large dish with some melted butter to keep them warm.

11.  While the pierogi are cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs, and increase the heat. Fry the breadcrumbs for 3-4 minutes.

12.  Serve the pierogi with some fried breadcrumbs and sour cream.

 

Note: Quark is soft, fresh cheese, that has a similar creamy texture to sour cream and a mild tangy taste.