Monday, January 9, 2012

Perogie 101

Perogies - Pyrohy - Varenyky- however you spell them... they are lil' bundles of comfort food heaven!  (ok, so that's in MY Ukie opinion!) .  There are literally tons of different ways to make them...from the filling, to how they are prepared. Boiled, baked, fried.... all of the above....  they are just plain YUMMY!

What some don't realize is the work, and time it takes to make a batch.  From preparing the basic dough... to creating whatever filling, to pinching each one shut by hand, it can quickly become an all day event! I mean... if you are going to make SOME ... may as well make SOME MORE ... they freeze incredibly well, and there's just something about being able to "whip up" a perogie dinner on those week nights that a good comfort-food dinner is in the cards.  We're talking pretty much a full day of "work" (okok, like about 4ish hours depending how quickly you can make em)... I typically make 3-4 batches of dough at once - using about 5lbs of potatoes for filling - this ensures a nice stockpile in your freezer.  SO... why wouldn't you just run to the store.. pay the $6 per bag, and pick up the frozen mass produced ones!? ... hmmm....  take one bite of a homemade perogie... and you wont ever ask again.  This time around, I WON'T be telling you my filling ingrediants percisely (trade secret after all) ... buuuuuut I WILL give you the basic perogie dough recipe, as well as my tips and basic filling suggestions, along with how I like to pepare that perfect Ukie "comfort food" dinner.  YUM YUM

Basic Perogie Dough  (Varenyky)

1 1/2 cup warm water
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 egg
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Combine water, oil, egg in mixer bowl.  Mix well.  (a wire whisk works well for this)
Add in flour, salt.  Using your Mixers dough hook,  start on low, until a dough ball starts to form. Increase speed slowly, (I have a kitchen aid mixer and used speed 2.)   Mix for 3-4 minutes, until dough ball is forms around the dough hook.

Remove dough from mixer, and place on a lightly floured surface.  Knead until dough no longer sticks to your hand - you can add a little bit of flour if needed, on contrary, if dough is too dry, wet hands, and knead in.  Dough should be smooth and not sticky.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let rest for 20 mins.

While dough is resting - prepare your filling.  Typically, I use a mixture of potatoes -cheese-bacon-garlic-butter.   Do an internet search of filling for perogies - there are endless possibilites.

When it's time to make the perogies - work in small batches to prevent the rolled dough from drying out.  Here's a couple other tips:

Don't have that "perfect" sized cookie cutter - who cares!  I use a white wine glass!  Roll your dough out, and cut out circles - I find about 16-18 circles at a time is the perfect size, as the dough tends to dry out if its laying on the counter to long - which means they won't close and pinch together.

Place filling in centre of dough circle, keeping potato away from edges.  **very important to not have filling on edges, as they will come apart when you try and cook them later!  Remember to start off slow, less is more.  As you get more comfortable with the dough and filling - increase the amount of filling.

Fold into a half moon, and pinch the edges shut.  **watch your seams!  Make sure there's no filling in the seams, or holes in the dough and that the edges are pinched completely shut.

Using a cookie sheet, lay each perogie flat in rows.  Typically I'll use a clean, freshly laundered dish towel to place over top of bottom layer, and then do a second layer of perogies, making sure they are not touching eachother.

Once the cookie sheet is full - carefully place tray in your freezer.  Once they are frozen, you can put them into a large ziploc bag.  You've now got your own - made from scratch - Perogies! 

Perogie Dinner - YUM YUM

So You've got your perogies, and now you wanna taste the finished product.  Here's a quick and easy dinner - what I like to call .... Ukie Comfort Food. 

- Boil a pot of salted water.Once fully boiling, place perogies in carefully. Using a wooden spoon, stir carefully so they don't stick.  Once they all float to the top - they are ready!  Remove from pot with a slotted spoon.... You can enjoy them as they are - drizzled with butter, onion and garlic - OR, you can take it a little step further....

Toss some chopped onion, butter,minced garlic and pepper into a frying pan. Fry until onions turn transluesent.  Add in some cut kobassa and fry until heated through.

Place boiled, cooked perogies in the hot frying pan with the kobassa mixture, and lightly fry the perogies until they get a crispy outside (to your taste). Flip them carefully to fry up each side.
Once they are done....  place on a plate with a dollop of sour cream...  ENJOY!!

HMM... now that I have a freezer full of perogies.... thinking cabbage rolls may be in order... hmmmm  Until next time... for now, I'm pooped!  time for a hot shower.. glass of wine... and sleep.


  1. Looks delicious!!!! Reminds me of childhood. It's nice to know that somethings always bring comfort. Now, bring on the perogies!!!

  2. I have been making perogies for years and have found a really great recipe for perogie dough. It comes out perfect every time. For every 2 cups of flour use 1 cup of sour cream. That is all you need. The consistency is the same all the time and it is easy to work with.

    1. I've heard about using sourcream before. Will just have to try it! :) thanks!