RECIPE: Polish potato and cheese dumplings
FILLED with potato, onion and cheese, these are arguably the most popular of Polish dumplings.
- 500 g floury potatoes, such as se spunta, peeled, cut into large pieces
- 125 g butter
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 250 g farmer's cottage cheese (see Note)
- sour cream and finely chopped dill (optional), to serve
- 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Resting time 15 minutes
Place potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then place in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Season with salt, then cool.
Meanwhile, to make dough, combine flour, dill and a generous pinch of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, then pour in egg and 125 ml (½ cup) warm water. Using a fork, mix until combined, adding a little more water if necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 3, then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
Add cottage cheese to mashed potato, then use a slotted spoon to add one-quarter of the onions. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out each piece of dough until 2 mm thick. Using a 9 cm round pastry cutter, cut 8 rounds from each piece, discarding excess. Place 1 tbsp potato mixture in the center of each round. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush around the edge of the dough, then fold over to enclose the filling, pressing gently to remove any air pockets. Lightly crimp edges at 1 cm intervals, if desired.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer. Cook pierogi, in 4 batches, for 3 minutes or until they are cooked through and have risen to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Reheat remaining onions over low heat, add pierogi and toss for 1 minute or until coated and heated through. Serve immediately with sour cream and dill, if desired.