My favorite and most common pierogi filling is a mashed potato filling. There are so many different ways to make mashed potatoes. Any recipe you choose will work. I’m going share a recipe I’ve been using recently but if you have a family recipe you love, go for it! You can even use instant potatoes if you don’t want make them from scratch.
Old Fashioned Mashed Potatoes (Cassy Joy Garcia – Fed & Fit cookbook)
2 lb red potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (peeling optional)
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk (or canned full fat coconut milk)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Place potatoes in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes and return back to the large pot. Add butter, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash until well incorporated.
Filling and Preparing the Pierogis
To continue upon last week’s post about Basic Pierogi Dough, I’d like to go over my tips for filling and preparing the pierogis. You will need the dough prepared from the recipe I posted last week and filling of your choice. Make sure the filling is room temperature or has been cooled in the refrigerator. If the filling is warm or watery it will be hard to pitch the pierogi shut.
Start by rolling out your prepared dough. You can do this with a rolling pin or a pasta machine. I use an Atlas Marcato Pasta Machine from Sur La Table. This equipment is pretty easy to use and is worth the investment if you enjoy making fresh pasta or pierogis. I roll the dough out on #3 setting which is 2.8 mm. If you are using a rolling pin, roll as thin as you can (I try for a quarter inch).
After rolling the dough, cut circles out of the dough. You can use a pint glass, cookie cutter, or anything circular. I use a cut-n-seal tool I bought off a friend from Pampered Chef.
If I am not ready to fill right away, I will place the cut dough on wax paper and cover with another layer of wax paper. This will prevent the dough from drying out till you start to fill.
When I am ready to fill my pierogis, I use a tablespoon size scooper and place a scoop on top of my dough circles. Then close pierogis by folding the dough over the filling creating a half moon shape.
There are a few ways to seal the pierogis. First way is to close with your fingers and pitch together, less attractive but gets the job done. Second, is to close with your fingers and pitch shut with a fork. This makes a nicer display and ensures they are shut. And the third way it to use a pierogi or dumpling press. This tool makes the pierogis uniform in shape and size.
After pinching the pierogis, place them in a large pot of boiling water. Boil till pierogi start to float (about 5 minutes). When the pierogis are done boiling. Place on a drying rack or kitchen towel to cool off. If you making a large batch of pierogis and would like to freeze some, this it the time you can add to a freezer bag. Always boil pierogis before you add to a freezer bag so they do not stick together.
If you want to eat the pierogis immediately, you can eat as is or pan fry. To pan fry, add 2 tablespoons of butter to a frying pan or skillet. Fry the pierogi on each side for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with some sour cream or butter and onions. Go wild and throw in bacon bits and chives.
Have fun, be creative, and let me know if you have questions.