Meat Pierogi Recipe

December 26, 2008

My friend’s visits to Poland have one enduring effect. She misses pierogi! Actually I’m not sure whether she remembers anything else from her visits, because she hardly ever talks of anything else. She wants some every time she hears I’m having them for dinner, she thinks of them every time she longs for some comfort food, and now, that it’s Christmas and pierogi are obviously one of the traditional food Poles have at this season, she asked about them with no little envy.

Alas, she can’t buy pierogi where she lives. She says that the only kind available there are some potato ones, that seem a poor imitation of our ruskie pierogi that are with cheese and potato (sometimes erroneously translated as Russian pierogi, but ruskie means Ruthenian – Ukrainian or Belarusian), while her favourite kind are the meat ones.

ImagePierogi is the plural of pieróg. They originated in Finland, but we have long developed our own recipes. They can be either sweet or non-sweet. Out of the non-sweet three kinds are the most popular: with cheese and potato (the ruskie ones), with meat, or with cabbage and mushrooms.

The only solution for my friend we found is to make her own, so I found a recipe by Maciej Kuroń, one of the famous chiefs in Poland, and with my friend’s help prepared the English translation. Perhaps others might like to cook them too. They’re really easy to make, and one really can eat them all the time.

Meat Pierogi

Filling:

500g (about 1 lb) of boiled bouillon meat (it’s the meat one used to make broth: beef, chicken and veal)
2 onions
30g (about 1 0z) of butter
Salt and pepper

Dough:

500g (17.6 oz) of flour
250ml of water or milk (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt
1 egg (optional)

To prepare the filling:

Grind the meat. Dice/mince the onion into very small pieces and fry it in butter until it becomes transparent. Add the salt, pepper and the meat to the onion and sauté briefly to blend the flavours. If the filling is too dry you can add 50g (1.5 – 2 oz) of ham or smoked meat.

To prepare the dough:

The ingredients should be at room temperature before making the dough. Sieve/sift the flour onto a board. Make a small hollow in the middle and add the egg (adding the optional egg will make the dough firmer) and the tablespoon of melted butter into it. Slowly pour in the water or milk. The amount will depend on the humidity of the flour. The dryer the flour the more fluid it will need. Knead the dough, first with a knife, then with your hands (about 15-20 min.) until it becomes a uniform, smooth mass. A well prepared dough should be elastic and smooth, and after being cut through it should have air holes. Cover it with a bowl for half an hour to let it mature, and then split it into 2-3 pieces and roll each to a thickness of 2 mm (0.08 inches).

Cut circles from the dough (use a form or a wide glass), put some filling into the middle of each, fold into half circles and seal them carefully by pinching the edges together with your fingers. Put the pierogi into boiling, salted water. After they float to the surface keep boiling them for 3 more minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon.

They can be eaten at once, or you can pan fry them, which makes them even better. (My friend agrees with the frying and says, “Yum!”)

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5 Responses to “Meat Pierogi Recipe”

  1. island1 said

    “ruskie means Ruthenian”

    Good to know. Pierogi trivia is always handy.

    Very good translation, or I should say the English version is very clear.

  2. We are a Polish family living in America and we love pierogi. I am not Polish myself but I got converted, I love Polish food and I usually serve it on the beautiful Polish pottery dinnerware. If you never heard of it please look it up. You will love it too.

  3. benben78 said

    Nice!

    My Grandmother is Polish and growing up, we ate her Pierogi all the time and loved them! One of my all-time favourite foods for sure.

    I’m going to try making these!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Heather R. said

    Thank you for this recipe! It makes so much more sense than many that I’ve seen online- the meat from making broth would be a natural for this. I have never seen a reference to the Finnish recipes before- that made everything click into place. The other Scandinavian countries likewise have recipes like this. Thank you so much! 🙂

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