Whether we call them pyrohy, vareniki, perogy, perohi, pirogen or dumplings, it's all essentially the same unleveaned dough filled with a myriad of fillings. My hometown community had two very large populations of Ukrainians and Poles and there was always this ongoing banter about whether cottage cheese filling or cheddar filling was the "right" way to make them. At the end of the day - who cares - they're all delicious. This delicious dish is flying over to Potato Ho Down sponsored by Cathy at Noble Pig and Krysta from Evil Chef Mom . I mean I can't even imagine that you haven't visited either of these blogs but if in the very remote chance that you haven't, sit down, go visit and tell me later that you haven't been entertained. If you do, I just won't even believe you.
The ladies' church groups start very early in the morning and gather round a very large table creating this assembly line cranking out literlly hundreds of dozens of perogies. I doubt this tradition will live to the next generation but what an incredible site to see these arthritic but still nimble perogie fingers pinching dough at the speed of light.
This dough is really a no fail dough. It's another one of the country favourite recipes gleaned from the Keld Community Ladies Club in Ashville, Manitoba. It's fun to get a few friends together and make about 30-50 dozen and share them among families. The kids love pinching the perogies too and at the end of it all, everybody eats. What could be bad?
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cooking oil
Approximately 2-7/8 cups warm water
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Add oil to water and pour over flour. Knead well. Use a little more flour if the dough is sticky, however, try not to add too much flour, as this will make the dough tough.
Perogie dough should be soft. Let rest in a covered bowl about 15 minutes. Roll out thin (as in pie crust) Cut into circles using a drinking glass or an empty soup can.
Place about one tsp filling on each circle.
Fold over and pinch edges well.
Drop into boiling salted water and cook until perogies float to the surface and appear puffy (a distinct culinary term).
Drain and pour melted butter over them (or not) Serve with onions fried in butter or with sour cream. These are just boiled with sour cream on top.
Psychgrad's note: Pan or deep fried perogies are also quite good!
This dough should make approximately 14 dozen.
Note: I don't cook them right away. I put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and flash freeze them (very important for avoiding one big clump of frozen perogie), put them in ziplock bags and take out what I need when I need it. Perogies freeze very well.
The fillings for perogies are plentiful - from potato with many variations such as fried onion, raw onion, bacon, and/or cheese, to meat fillings to fruit fillings. For this batch I went very easy - a simple combination of mashed potatoes and cheese whiz, more or less depending on how cheesy you want them. I could also have used shredded cheddar.
Psychgrad's note: Like, Giz, I really encourage you to try this recipe with a group of 2-3. 15 dozen perogies may not seem like much, but can be very tiring to do on your own.