For the Dough:
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 large free range egg
1 cup water
For the filling:
4 large potatoes
2 TBS butter, softened
1/2 pound of grated strong cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg
First make the dough. Mix the flour and salt together. Beat the eggs and the water together. Pour this over the flour and then with oiled hands knead together until smooth. You may think this is never going to come together and be smooth, but patience really comes in handy here. Just keep re-oiling your hands as necessary and kneading. Your patience will be rewarded with a lovely smooth, elastic dough. Once you achieve this, pop a bowl over it (on the counter) and let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour.
To make the filling peel the potatoes, cover with lightly salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, then drain well and mash. Stir in the butter, cheese and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to melt the cheese. You want a smooth flavourful mixture. Once you have the flavour right, (You must taste to test.) then you can beat in the egg. Set aside.
Pinch off walnut sized pieces of the dough (keeping the dough covered in between pinches). Roll each pinch into a ball and then roll with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a thin round. It should be about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Take a scant TBS of the potato filling and place it kind of off centre of the dough circle, wet the edges of the dough and then pinch shut to seal in the potato completely. Place onto a baking sheet with is lined with oiled parchment paper. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough and filling. You can let these air dry now, or pop the baking sheet (s) into the freezer until they are frozen solid and then transfer them to sealable bags and leave frozen until you need them.
To cook, bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Also place a large knob of butter into a frying pan and warm it gently until it is just foaming. Keep warm without burning. Drop the pierogies into the boiling water a few at a time and cook until they float to the top of the water, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drop them into the foaming butter in the frying pan. Fry them until they are golden on both sides. Repeat this process until you have enough done to feed your family. These are very moreish so you will need a lot!
Keep the fried pierogi’s warm in the oven until you are finished frying them. Fried onions and sour cream are musts for serving! (In this house anyways!)
I also like to make a sauerkraut filling from time to time:
3 cups of sauerkraut
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
4 TBS butter
2 TBS sour cream
fine seasalt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Rinse the sauerkraut in warm water until you’ve really given it a good rinse. Squeeze dry and then chop it very fine. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until it is tender, without colouring, stirring frequently. Add the sauerkraut and give it a good stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the kraut is softened and the flavours have really melded. Stir in the sour cream and set aside to cool before proceeding as above. (I like to cover mine and chill it in the refrigerator until it is really cold.)
You can buy pierogi pressed, that come in really handy and work very well at pressing them closed. I’ve had one for years and it works a charm!