Pierogi

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250g plain flour, plus plenty extra for dusting
1 egg
1½ tsp olive oil
Salt and ground white pepper
1 large Desiree potato (or other fairly waxy variety), peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks (260g net weight)
60g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 
2 medium celery sticks, cut into 5mm dice
1 tsp celery seeds (optional)
160g bacon lardons cut into 1.5cm cubes
300g soured cream
2 tbsp finely chopped chives

These can be prepared in advance and chilled until you want to cook. I owe Madga Lockey thanks for this brilliant, foolproof recipe. Serves six.

Method

Put the flour, egg, oil and half a teaspoon of salt in a food processor. Blitz to combine and, with the motor still running, slowly pour in 60-70ml of hand-hot water, until the pastry comes together in a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, dusting with flour as needed. Cut the dough in half, to see if there are any air bubbles inside; if there are, knead for a few minutes more, until smooth. Wrap tightly with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for an hour.


Fill a small saucepan with plenty of salted water. Bring to a boil, add the potato and cook for 10-12 minutes, until soft. Drain and set aside for five minutes, to dry. Transfer to a large bowl, add a quarter teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and mash smooth.


Put a large sauté pan on a medium-high heat with half the butter. Once frothing, add the onion, celery, celery seeds (if using) and bacon, and cook for 16-18 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden-brown and crisp. Tip into the potato bowl and mix together well.


On a well-floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a large, thin circle 50cm in diameter and 1mm thick. (While rolling, you’ll need to keep turning over the pastry and dusting with flour so it doesn’t stick.) Use a round 8cm-wide pastry cutter to cut out 30 circles (if need be, roll out the scraps of pastry a second time to make up the 30).


Put a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle and brush all around the edge with water. Fold one half over the other, to form a semi-circle, and press the edges together firmly to seal (the seal should be 1cm wide). Place the pierogi on a large, flour-dusted tray.


Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-high and add a third of the dumplings. Simmer for five minutes, then transfer to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining two batches of pierogi.


Put a large sauté pan on a high heat with 10g of butter. Once frothing, add a third of the dumplings and fry for a minute, turning halfway through, until lightly golden and just slightly crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside somewhere warm while you repeat with the remaining dumplings, adding more butter as you go. Serve at once, with a generous spoon of soured cream alongside or on top and a sprinkling of chives.

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