Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
30 Aug 2020

Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

30 Aug 2020

My obsession with dumplings continues, and this time I stumbled upon a recipe of a less expected origin: Poland. I’m following @fatdadcooks on Instagram, and one day I saw him post a photo of pan-fried pierogies he got from a friend. Curious, I started looking up recipes for pierogies.

Apparently there are so many kinds of pierogi with either sweet or savory filling. Found this interesting one by Natasha’s Kitchen, stuffed with mashed potatoes and drizzled with bacon and butter. Sign me up!

When I made the recipe as written, I found the filling to be rather underseasoned, and the dough too wet and difficult to work with. I also wasn’t so good with assembling the dumplings, letting the filling concentrate too much in the center and leaving the rest of the dumpling bland and chewy. So much work for something potentially so yummy, yet everything fell short.

I wasn’t willing to give up just yet on this recipe, so I made it a second time today and made a few adjustments. I used duck fat in place of butter in the mashed potatoes and added additional seasonings. I made the dumpling wrappers using my Kenwood BM450, and I added enough additional flour until the dough pulled away from the pan. I also still had some beef fat leftover, so I used that to make the beef bacon topping. Absolutely heavenly!

This time, the dumplings turned out wonderfully. Soft dumplings filled with savory, cheesy mashed potatoes, with bursts of saltiness from the beef bacon. Everyone had seconds. This time it was well worth the effort!

Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (about 5) Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 60 grams cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maggi Cukup Rasa
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) sharp cheddar cheese OR mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese powder (optional)
  • 95 grams unsalted butter OR duck/beef fat, melted
  • 235 ml hot water
  • 35 grams sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 570 grams plain flour (ideally at least 10% protein)
  • 125 grams beef breakfast strips, chopped

Directions

Make the potato filling. In a medium sized pot over high heat, add the potatoes and enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon of salt into the water.

Bring the water to a boil, 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook, until potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, 25 minutes.

Drain potatoes in a colander and let cool for 5 minutes.

Return the potatoes to the pot. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, Maggi Cukup Rasa if using, 30 grams of the melted butter or fat and cream cheese.

Mash until thoroughly combined.

Add the shredded cheese and cheese powder, and mash until combined. Partially cover and set aside.

Make the dumpling wrappers. In your breadmaker pan, add the hot water, 35 grams sour cream, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Add the flour.

Transfer the pan to your machine and start the Dough program. After the knead cycle is done, let rest for 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a well dusted surface. The dough will be sticky and very elastic. Be sure to dust your hands as well.

Divide the dough into 4 or 8 equal sized portions.

Working with one portion of dough at a time and keeping the others covered, roll into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. I used my Mercato Ampia 150 pasta roller, and rolled it progressively until no. 2 thickness.

Cut into 3-inch wide discs, as close together as possible.

Remove the scraps and keep covered for reuse.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of filling on each disc.

Working with one dumpling at a time, fold the wrapper in half, pressing gently to spread out the filling inside the dumpling.

Pinch the edges together tightly to seal. Be sure not to allow any air pockets to form.

Repeat for the remaining dumplings, then repeat for the remaining dough and filling.

At this point, you can freeze the uncooked pierogi, in a single layer on a tray well-dusted with flour and covered with cling wrap. Once frozen you can transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag or overlapping in a container.

Make the topping. In a skillet over high heat, heat the remaining 60 grams (4 tablespoons) butter or fat.

Add the chopped beef breakfast strips and cook, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the pierogi. When the water returns to a boil and the dumplings are floating, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough is very tender.

Transfer the dumplings to a large bowl using a slotted spoon, drizzling with the beef strips and butter topping in between layers.

Serve warm, with a side of sour cream. Enjoy!

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