My first experience with pierogi was in New York City during a work trip. My friend took us to the Dekalb Market Hall in Brooklyn. It’s a food hall with a variety of different restaurants serving all sorts of cuisines. The food was so, so, so amazing. (New York seriously has the best food. Ever.) There was a stall there that sold homemade pierogi stuffed with everything under the sun. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant, but it introduced me to pierogi and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them.
If you’ve never heard of pierogi, they are a Polish stuffed dumpling. They are boiled and filled with different things. Sometimes it’s potato and cheese, like the one I’ve made here. Sometimes, it has sauerkraut. Pierogi hail from Central and Eastern Europe, and for whatever reason, food from that area of the world isn’t as popular in the United States. But man is it good.
You can learn more about pierogi on the King Arthur flour website, where I got the basic recipe for the pierogi dough.
Pierogi is very easy to make. The most time consuming part of this entire process is making the dough and letting it rest.
I boiled my pierogi and then pan seared it, so it had a nice, crispy edge. Then, I topped it with cooked bacon, caramelized onions, and melted butter. It was simple and delicious. If you wanted to make this vegetarian, don’t skip the bacon.
This was so delicious that writing up this blog post made me want to whip up another batch. Enjoy!
Simple Homemade Pierogi with Bacon and Caramelized Onion Butter
For the Homemade Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
For the Filling
- 2 tbsp melted butter, divided
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled
- salt and pepper, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (or your favorite type of cheese)
- 1 small onion, minced
For the Topping
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp butter
- sour cream, to taste
Make the Dough
- Mix together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and mix together.
- Add in sour cream and the butter. Mix it with your hands until the dough is rough and slightly sticky.
- Knead the dough without adding extra flour until it becomes less sticky, but still moist.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Rest for 1 hour.
Make the Potato and Cheese Filling
- While the dough is resting, make the filling. Peel and quarter your potatoes. Over medium-high heat, boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice your onions. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute your onions until they are browned and nicely caramelized. Turn off heat and let cool.
- When the potatoes are ready, drain and mash them.Add the caramelized onion in butter, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the potatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Add a dash of garlic powder, to taste.
- Mash in 3/4 cup of grated cheese. I used Parmesan cheese because that's what I had on hand, but you can use any of your favorite grated cheese. Cheddar is a popular choice for this recipe.
- Combine your potatoes well. Taste them, and add more salt and pepper, if desired.Set aside and let cool.
Filling the Pierogi
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Cover the bowl with the dough with a kitchen towel to keep the dough moist while you work.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8" thick. Use a round cookie cutter, or the edge of a glass to make circles in the dough.(Save the scraps. They can be used again in the other pieces of the dough.)
- Place a heaping spoonful of mashed potato into the center of the dough. Gently fold it over, stretching the edges if you need to. Pinch the edges to seal. You can use a fork to make a pretty edge, if desired.
- Repeat until all the dough is used up. You can freeze pierogi for a month, or cook immediately.
- To cook the pierogi, bring a large pot with salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add 5 or 10 pierogi, depending on how wide your pan is. You don't want to add all of the pierogi at once. This will make your pan to be overcrowded and they will stick together when they float.
- The pierogi is cooked when it floats to the top. This takes maybe 2-3 minutes. You can eat boiled pierogi as is, but I like to saute them, so they're nice and brown.
- Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Add the pierogi and pan-fry them until they are nicely browned on each side. Set aside on a plate while you make the butter topping.
Make the Bacon and Onion Topping
- Over medium heat, cook the bacon in a nonstick pan. (No need to add oil – the bacon will render fat as it cooks.)
- When the bacon starts to render fat, add the sliced onions. Saute and cook until the onions have browned and caramelized to your liking. Add 2 tablespoon of butter and mix everything together.
- Plate the pierogi. Pour some of the bacon and onion butter on top of each plate's pierogi and enjoy.