And now we come to the pierogi that I love. The simple but oh-SO-decadent potato pierogi.** I prefer them simply boiled, with sour cream. With loads of onions in the filling. Upon the recommendation of Anne Applebaum, whose From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food guided our entire pierogi making adventure, we also added bacon. By which I mean bacon fat and crumbled bacon. Swoon. (Right about now my sister is loading her car with weapons and headed this way–because potato pierogi were the one kind Chris did not bring home for her to try. On accident. I swear.)
There is an added benefit to making sure potato is one of the fillings you try when you make pierogi. Using the leftovers to make potato pancakes. Oh yeah. Dare I say I liked these even better than the pierogi?
They were certainly easier, at any rate. Whichever way you prepare them, the result is delicious. I promise. Just don’t forget to share them with your sister. Seriously.
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled in salted water until tender
- 6 strips of bacon
- 2 medium large onions, finely diced
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated (ricotta would be more traditional but we preferred cheddar)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T unsalted butter
- flour for dredging
- oil for frying
- Cut the cooked potato into chunks and place in a large bowl (you can mash and mix by hand, or, do as we did, and use your mixer). Mash the potatoes with the tablespoon of butter (it will melt from the heat of the potatoes).
- Cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to drain and cool on a paper towel lined plate.
- Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease into the potatoes. Leave 1-2 tablespoons in the pan.
- Heat the pan back up and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent.
- While the onions are cooking, crumble the bacon and add it to the potatoes.
- Add the shredded cheese to the potatoes. Mix everything thoroughly.
- When the onions are lightly browned, add them to the potatoes. Mix.
- Taste for salt and pepper (it should not need much salt thanks to the bacon and cheese).
- The filling is now ready to be used in pierogi.
- If using to make potato pancakes, let the filling cool until it is handle-able. Form patties in your hands and then lightly dredge in flour. Fry on medium high heat in pre-heated oil until browned on both sides.
**By the way, your pierogi should be a complete round. Of course the one nice shot I got of the filling on the uncooked pasta dough is a round that looks like it was folded under on one end and I never noticed!