Traditional Ukrainian Perogies

The following recipe is my Mom’s and Grandmothers official pyrohy recipe. I spent most of my childhood eating and learning how to make various parts of this recipe. A few years ago when my Mom passed away I decided it was time to learn and master the recipes of my childhood. Every time I make these I think of family, my mom, and tradition. I hope that maybe it can become part of your family and maybe even part of your tradition. 

POTATO INGREDIENTS

  • 5lb of rustic potatoes
  • 750g block of old or extra old cheese shredded
  • Onion powder
  • Heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Butter (the real stuff)

POTATO FILLING

The following recipe is for a LARGE batch of potatoes. It’s enough potatoes for 2-3 batches of dough. I always try and make it the night before because I like my potato at room temperature when placing them in the dough.

  • Peal and boil the 5 pounds of potatoes
  • When soft drain out all the water and get the smasher out
  • Add some heavy cream (not to much to start see NOTE)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 750g block of Old or Extra old cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder to start
  • Place it in a bowl and put it in the fridge until you need it.

NOTE: Your basically making mash potatoes so adjust the heavy cream for consistency. You want smooth no lumps potatoes but not soup. Also the onion power is to taste so it’s your call. Also some people like to add bacon IN the potatoes. I perfect fried on top but you can do anything you want.

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter (the real stuff)
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (this can very see directions)
  • 1 tsp salt

MAKING THE DOUGH

  • Take out a mix master of some kind you will need it
  • Combine water, butter and salt into a mixing bowl
  • Now add 2 cups of flour and give it a stir so the flour doesn’t blow around
  • Turn on your mixer to a medium to low setting and just mix it for a bit
  • As it’s mixing add 1/2 cups of flour from the remaining four until the ball of dough holds together. READ THE ISSUE BELOW

THE ISSUE: I often do not need the whole 4 1/2 cups flour for this recipe. I usually only need 3 1/2 cups but sometimes I seem to need more and other times I need less. What your looking for is the dough to become a sold ball, and not crumbly.

  • If you add to much flour and it’s not holding together then add like a 1 tsp of water.
  • If you find it’s a solid ball but it’s a bit sticky thats fine move on to the next step
  • Now that it’s all mixed. Lightly flour your counter and hands and place the dough in the center of the flour.
  • Now you need to kneed the dough into the flour
  • You want a smooth texture in your dough
  • Once you have that make it into a nice ball and place it in a bowl and cover with saran wrap and let it sit for at least 30min.

MAKING PEROGIES

This part is a bit of an art form and is really hard to explain. So I’m going to just give you the basic directions. For cutting they suggest a cookie cutter between 2-2 1/2”, if you don’t have one a soup can will do the job. Just make sure its about that size and not a small can. Ultimately this is a bit of trial and error. It will take a few tries to get the right amount of filling so that you can still close the perogie.

  1. Remove a large piece of the dough and on a floured counter start rolling. Roll it out thinner than for pie crust but not so thin you can see through it. You need to constantly be adding a bit of flour on top and flipping it often. It will help with getting the perogies off the counter. Remember flour is your friend…
  2. Once you have the right thickness use your cutter to cut out circles in the dough. Keep them nice and close together don’t waste the dough space.
  3. Now pull up all the excesses dough and place it back in the bowl for the next round.
  4. Now place around a tsp of potato in the center of each of the circles.
  5. Dip your finger in water and trace the outside of half the circle. It’s just need a little water for the seal.
  6. Now carefully fold over the dough forming a half circle and pinch the edges tight.
  7. Now place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Then press down on the seal with your fingers. Make it look like a perogie. When the sheet is full place it in the freezer.
  8. Repeat all these steps until you run out of potato or dough. The number of perogies you get will be detriment by the thickness of the dough.
  9. I find it best to store perogies once they are frozen in bags of 1-2 dozen.

COOKING DIRECTIONS

FATJESSE NOTES

  • My only true not is that practice make perfect when it comes to perogies. I can guarantee they will taste right if you follow the recipe but it’s a bit of an art to get the shape and size right. However it doesn’t really matter the shape and size have no baring on the taste.
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