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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grandma Buddy's Famous Polish Pierogy

I am blessed with a range of cultures in my ancestry.  Holidays are when these cultures would emerge at the dinner table.  Christmas was never complete without Grandma's Pierogy.  Everyone requested them and she never failed.  At 80 years old she would roll out the dough by hand, and make these delicious mainstays of our family gatherings.  As we got older we'd have limits though.. ONLY TWO EACH!!! or she'd whack you with a wooden spoon.

My grandma taught us to make pierogy many times.  She'd host Pierogy making parties to teach us all but it always fell on her lap.  I knew how to make them but they are very labour intensive and there was just something about grandma's pierogy that was better.  (Other than the year she deviated from tradition and put shrimp in them...blech).

Now that Gran is gone, Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas without her pierogy so one year I pulled out my recipe collection and found my hand written scratchily written Grandma recipe.  I imagine she is smiling down as we labour over them and somehow, making all these foods that my grans' made, makes it seem like they are here with us.  

We take a few shortcuts that make it easier, but I always get the kids involved.  We have our pierogy assembly line.  Usually get a few hundred made in about 2 hours working the way we do.  This year?  Oldest at work, youngest sick with fever, I made them with my two middle kids.  We just finished an hour and a bit and we got about 100 or so made.

Without Further adieu...the recipe.  It's sort of one of those handful of this, and "to taste" of that but I've tried to ballpark measurements for you.  In the end of the day, the best part is tasting the filling and adjusting as you go along but the essentials are potato, onion, and cheese.

Grandma Buddy's Ingredients.
8-10 medium to large size new white potato
3-4 cups shredded sharp ("old") cheese
1 large shredded onion (pureed is even better)
pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup water

Peel and boil potatos until thoroughly cooked.  Drain and mash until smooth.  I use a kitchenaid mixer.  Add the shredded cheese while the potato is still hot, as well as the onion, and mix on low-medium until smooth.  Add pepper to taste.  Taste periodically to see if it needs more cheese or not, pepper etc to your liking.

For the wrappers.  In the mixer place the flour and salt.  In a seperate bowl lightly scramble the eggs with the water and pour slowly into the mixer.  I use the triangular paddle for this on low speed.   Let the mixer combine and beat it until well combined.  Remove from the mixer and knead until smooth.  Cut the dough into small sections (maybe 5ths). can roll it out by hand until thin, cut with a mason jar lid and carry on, or do what we do.  We use an old fashioned hand cranked Pasta maker.

We start off rolling it at setting seven and finish at setting 5.  This gives it enough thickness to allow it to be pulled a bit for pinching.

Once rolled it goes to the board and is cut out with Mason Jar lids.  A heaping teaspoon of filling added and then you fold up the edges pulling a bit as you do and pinch them closed. 

Just like above.  Prepare a cookie sheet by spreading flour all over it.  Place the Pierogy in lines and when full, place in the freezer while the next tray is filled.  Once filled remove the semi frozen ones and place in a ziploc bag, sealing and placing back in the freezer.  Best part of this is they don't stick together and are now ready whenever you are.

To cook.   Have a large pot of boiling water ready.  Place about 12-15 in the water one at time and reduce the boil to about 8 once they start to boil up again (remember, they are frozen). Let them boil until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on a readied skillet with butter.  Fry for just a few minutes on medium low heat until desired.   My grandma always fried them with Butter, Bacon, and onions.  We don't do the onions but bacon is a must.  I usually precook the bacon and add it after the fact though.  Serve with sour cream and love every savory bite.

Some people like them just boiled with butter...I'm a grandma purist. 


  1. mmm... pierogies. I made them once and only once but may have to try again!

  2. These sound so good ... and thank you for posting the recipe! It's great that you are keeping your grandma's recipes alive and sharing them with your kids. I personally believe it's a great way to keep loved ones, especially those who are gone, close in our hearts!

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

    Small Footprints

  3. Thank you very much both of you!! A happy and prosperous New Year to you as well!

    My Uncle just gave them the thumbs up tonight. :)


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