Yesterday, we covered how to make basic pierogi dough, but we never really discussed how to make a filling that goes inside the pierogi. But, as it turns out, this filling is very tasty on its own; you could use it as a nice side dish for a holiday meal. It’s that good.
We had some of the filling left over; it made a bit more than we needed, so we just reheated it and ate it along with our dinner. In retrospect, it would have been better to save the extra filling for another day (we had made a lot of pierogis; it was our first time).
Like the pierogi dough, this recipe comes, vaguely, as we modified it a bit, from Anne Applebaum and Diane Crittenden’s book, From a Polish Country House Kitchen. According to them, this type of filling is traditional in Poland, and, here in the US, probably the most common filling you’ll find. A good place to start, as a dish normally becomes a tradition when it’s good.
Makes enough filling for 30 pierogies
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- 6-8 ounces cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
We’ll peel these potatoes, so you don’t have to be as concerned about buying organically-grown potatoes. For the cheese, use pretty much any kind you think would be good. If it’s a soft cheese like ricotta — which is closer to traditional — use it as is. If it’s a harder cheese, grate it before using. We used a mix of a soft goat cheese and a Colby-jack blend.
Cook potatoes. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender, about 20 minutes.
Prepare peas. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet, and fry onions over medium-low until tender and slightly browned. Add peas and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Mash potatoes and cheese. Drain the potatoes and place them in a medium bowl along with the cheese. Mash with a fork, with the idea that you want some of the potato slightly chunky.
Fold in peas. Mix the peas and onions into the cheesy potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill pierogis. That’s it. You should have a stiff, cheesy mashed potato and pea mixture that tastes good enough for a side dish, but really should be used as pierogi filling, where it’ll taste even better. Cook the pierogis as directed in yesterday’s post.
As we mentioned, this filling would also make a great side dish, and you can’t beat how easy it is. Boil up some potatoes, fry a bit of onion and cook peas. Grate cheese, and mix all together. What’s not to like? Five stars.