Semi-Homemade Pierogies

What if ravioli are just shitty pierogies? 

I’ve always loved pierogies. My mom used to make the frozen kind for us (typically potato because we are almost full-blooded Irish) and saute them in a pan with butter, garlic, and a little onion. Sometimes she would melt cheese on top and sometimes we would dip them in sour cream. Most of the time, they had a 30-second life after leaving the pan; just long enough to be put on a plate and then inhaled. 

Last time I was at my grandma’s house, I saw that she was using instant potatoes for mashed. I gasped. She has, for as long as I can remember been the ultimate Irish woman and makes most things from scratch, including Irish Soda Bread (which is the best out there, but I am most likely a little biased of my grandmother’s cooking). She showed me this brand called Idahoan. I tried them, they were actually pretty damn good. And once I saw the price point of about a dollar for a package, I knew I had to buy them. 

photo 4 

Idahoan makes many varieties of these instant mashed potatoes. I decided for the pierogies to try the Four Cheese and the Bacon Cheddar Chipotle. I used less water than the package recommends to make the potatoes stiff, hoping they would stay in place better that way. The package recommends 2 cups of boiling water, I used between 1 1/2 and 1 2/3 cups. starting lighter on the water, and adding a couple drops as I thought needed to dissolve the potato flakes into their intended state.

The dough was fairly simple as well, the assembling of the pierogies was time consuming. I remember thinking of the families that make tamales together and turn it into a type of assembly line. I wished my nice roomie, Tegan, was home at the time I was making them. Only the mean ones were there, and that left me with more pasta in my house than common sense. It took about 2 hours from start to finish on my own to make about 50-60 pierogies on my own. The whole time I was busy enough with the steps that it didn’t feel like it was taking 2 hours. 

photo 1

Making the dough was fairly easy. I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, so I used the top of a wine glass. 

photo 2

Only about a teaspoon is needed in the middle of each pierogi. It made 2 cups of potatoes from the instant flakes go very far. 

photo 3

Pro tip from the lady at the grocery store that got excited when Tegan told her I was making pierogies: use a fork to seal the ends. Not only does it make it look more adorable, but helps the bond between the top and bottom part of the dough come together. 

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 8oz. container of sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 packages of Idahoan instant potatoes

Let’s Get Cooking:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder together. 
  3. Add (about 1/3 of the mixture at a time) of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. It will become a very thick dough. 
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth (about 6-7 minutes)
  5. Divide the dough into two balls. 
  6. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil the pierogies in later.
  7. Put the tea kettle on with water for the potatoes.
  8. Roll out one of the balls of dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/8 in thick. Pro tip: also flour the rolling pin, it helps.  
  9. Cut the dough with biscuit cutter or a wine glass like I did. Any glass will do, I just liked that the wine glass had a smaller diameter than a rocks glass, or a beer glass.
  10. Mix 1 1/2 cup of water with the package of instant potato flakes in a small bowl on the side. 
  11. Take one of the cut outs, and roll it out a little more with your hand or the rolling pin, to ensure it is about as flat as you can get it without tearing the dough.
  12. Add about about a teaspoon of the potatoes and place it in the center of your round.
  13. Fold the pierogi in half and seal the ends by crimping it down with a fork (as shown above.)
  14. Drop a completed pierogi into the boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. It will float when it is done. Removed them with a slotted spoon.
  15. Place the completed pierogies on a wire cooling rack like you would cookies that just came from the oven. If you stack them on top of each other, still a little wet, and on a plate, the dough will tear and they will stick together. 
  16. Repeat steps 7-15 for the other package of potatoes.

You’re good now. You can saute, bake, deep fry all those pierogies now. Or you can put them in the freezer. Enjoy!

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