Hello! I hope you’re doing well and you’re having an awesome day so far. This year I’ve planned a few new series for Undaunted Adventure. With travel still unlikely for the next few months, I knew I still wanted to venture round the world in some form. And so, each month I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes from my travels and this month is the turn of Pierogi.
Made from unleavened dough, Pierogi are dumplings which are filled with either a sweet or savoury filling. If you’ve visited Eastern Europe, you’ll have likely tried some of these delicious dumplings and they’re incredibly popular in Poland. Although their origins are disputed, one legend tells of the story of Hyacinth of Poland who visited Kościelec in 1238. On his visit, a storm destroyed the local crops. Hyacinth told the local people to pray and low and behold, when people awoke the next day their crops had risen again. To say thank you, the people made pierogi from the revitalised crops and gave them to St Hyacinth!
Common fillings for Pierogi include mashed potatoes, onions, meat or cheese as well as sweet options ranging from cherries to apples. So, no matter what your favourite filling is, there is an option for you.
PIEROGI PASTRY RECIPE
500g plain flour
A cup of lukewarm water
1 egg, beaten
Pop the flour into a bowl. Add the egg and water a little at a time, stirring with a round-bladed knife with each addition. Once the dough is formed, knead well for 3-4 minutes on a floured surface until soft and smooth. If the dough is slightly wet and sticky, add in a little more flour. Once kneaded, leave to rest in a bowl covered with a damp cloth.
After 30 minutes of resting, split the dough into three portions and place one portion on a floured surface. Roll out to 3mm thick and cut out circles with an 8cm pastry cutter. To fill, place a pastry round in your hand and place a tablespoon of filling in the centre. Fold over the pastry and pinch the corners together to make a semi-circle shaped dumpling.
Leave on the floured surface and cover with a damp cloth while you fill the rest of the dumplings.
Once all your dumplings are made, boil in batches in a large pan of boiling water until they rise to the top of the pan – this will take around 5 minutes.
Your Pierogis can then either be drained and served immediately or re-heat them by pan-frying in a little butter. This will give the dumplings a slightly crisp outside and a completely different texture and flavour, which personally, I prefer.
If you are serving up savoury Pierogi, top with crispy onions, crispy bacon, and sour cream. For a sweet dumpling sprinkle with a little sugar!
MEAT PIEROGI FILLING
50g bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
400g mince (pork or beef)
Seasonings (I added mixed herbs, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, a little tomato puree and a beef stock cube – but you can add whatever you prefer!)
3 rashers of bacon – to serve
Melt the 20g of butter in a frying pan and add the bacon, onion, mince and carrot. Cook until the onion has just softened, and the meat has browned. Add seasoning to taste and leave to cool while you prepare your pastry.
While you’re cooking your Pierogi, grill the 3 bacon rashers until crisp and then cool and crumble into pieces. You can fry up an onion until its crispy if you’d like too!
To serve, place all your Pierogi in a bowl and sprinkle the bacon, onions and sour cream on top.
Tuck in and enjoy!
Have you tried Pierogi before? Let us know in the comments below!