If there was only one meal I could eat for the rest of my life, Polish pierogi would be on the shortlist. The ravioli-like parcels take a while to construct and cook (requiring both boiling and frying!) but you can make up a large batch and freeze down the extra.
This recipe came from my friend Kasia’s Mum. You can get the cottage cheese from Polish delis or in some supermarkets. Failing that, use feta or another dry, crumbly cheese.
For the filling:
2 – 3 medium potatoes
1 ½ onions
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
For the dough:
1 pack medium-fat polish cottage cheese
320 plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
butter for frying
Peel, chop, cook and then mash your potatoes. Very finely chop the onion and then fry on a low heat till softened.
Mix the potato, onion, cheese, parsley and salt to form the filling, and set aside.
In a food processor with a dough hook, mix the flour, salt, egg, oil and 175ml water. When it has formed a ball, tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or so.
If you don’t have a processor, place the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre for the egg, and slowly add the water and oil mixing as you go to form the dough.
Roll out the dough thinly and cut into circles with a glass or circular cutter.
When you have completed one sheet, collect up the unused pastry to be rolled out again.
Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, then fold one half of the pastry over the other.
Push down to seal the edges, brushing on a little water if you aren’t getting a tight seal.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pierogi in batches for 3 – 4 minutes.
Drain each batch and place the cooked pierogi on a clean surface or plate while you cook the rest, to stop them sticking together.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, and fry the pierogi on a medium heat for a minute or two on each side until golden.
Serve immediately, with sour cream mixed with chopped dill, chopped cucumbers and beetroot chutney (optional).
To freeze, place the boiled (but not fried) pierogi in stacked in tupperware, separating each layer with clingfilm or a plastic bag. Once defrosted, fry and serve as usual!