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Vareniki (Pierogies) with Meat & Potatoes from Thomas (VIDEO)

Yes, meat and potatoes, what can be more comforting as food goes?

This recipe was created by my oldest son Thomas, who is a big meat lover. A recipe to remember, with flavor they'll never forget.

boy holding a bowl with pierogies

He got a school project, where he had to prepare a meal/dinner for his parents, write down the ingredients list, cost of ingredients, and the directions.

I must mention that I was surprised that he chose this more difficult recipe when he said: "Mom, I will do pierogies, I love pierogies!" Since the war in Ukraine began, Thomas wants more and more to highlight the fact that he is half Ukrainian boy and has nothing to do with Russia in his identity.

boy holding a pan cast iron with a filling for the pierogies

And I thought we will do the most popular in US: potato & cheese.

As I was gathering all ingredients, and was almost ready to start recording the video, Thomas looked at me and said: "Mom, absolutely not, I won't do it if it's not with meat." Well, I was struggling to quickly change the recipe and defrost the meat. Here we go, I hope you give it a try soon. It's delicious!

bowl with pierogies

Vareniki its Ukrainian name for Polish dumplings (pierogies) that are common in US and most traditional comforting Eastern European dishes. Stuffed with savory or sweet fillings and wrapped in homemade dough, they’re easy to love by adults and children!

If you are a big dumplings lover, like we are, check out this collection of dumplings that I posted over the years:

vareniki topped with fried onions and fresh parsley
blueberries dumplings with creme fraiche
fried pierogies and sour cream

Let's do it...

Prep time: 10 minutes

Making time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40-50 minutes

Author: Inna of 

Serves: 8-10 people (60-62 pieces)

ingredients for the dough

Dough Ingredients for the Vareniki (Pierogies)

3 large eggs

1 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

1/4 cup warm water

2 teaspoons Celtic salt

ingredients for the filling

Filling Ingredients for the Vareniki (Pierogies)

1 pound ground beef or pork

1 pound cooked potatoes (I used Yukon Gold in the video)

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Celtic salt 

Few turns freshly ground black pepper.

Serving Ingredients for the Vareniki (Pierogies)

½ cup melted butter

1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche 

Scallions and dill, chopped (for garnish, omit if you can’t find fresh dill)

Directions for the Vareniki (Pierogies)

  • To make the dough, mix together the flour, salt with an electric mixer with the hook attachment, then add eggs, creme fraiche (sour cream) and water. Don't add all water, add 1 tablespoon at the time, you may not needed as much water.

  • Knead until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

  • Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  • To make the fillings, preheat pan (cast iron pan is best here), add olive oil. Add meat, and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

  • Cook on a medium heat for few minutes, break meat with potato masher to make look all the same. After few minutes of cooking, and stirring once in a while, add onion, and continue cooking until the onion looks translucent.

  • Meanwhile to another bowl add potato and smash it with potato masher, add parsley, salt and some pepper, mix all together.

  • Remove from heat the cooked meat-onion mixture and add to the bowl with potatoes. Mix all together.

  • Divide the dough into 4 pieces and start working with one piece at the time. Keep the rest of the dough covered when you’re not working with it.

  • With your hands, roll the dough into a thin sausage-looking shape.

  • With a generous amount of flour on your working space, place your sausage-looking shape dough on the working space.

  • Start cutting the dough into pieces with a knife dough, just eyeballing to make sure every piece looks the same size and shape (it looks very much like Italian gnocchi).

  • Press each piece of dough down with your hand, creating a perfect circle.

  • Roll each piece with rolling pin into a disks that are pancake-size.

  • Place one tablespoon of filling in the center of each disk. Bring one edge of the dough over to meet the other and seal the edges to form a half-moon. Make sure that the edges are securely pressed together. As each pierogi is formed, place it on a floured dish.

  • Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

  •  When ready to serve, bring a large kettle of salted water to a boil. Drop the pierogies into the water, making sure not to crowd them. After the pot gets back to boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook them for 2-3 minutes or until they start floating to the top of the surface. Don't overcrowd the pot. Cook 10-12 pierogies at the time.

  • Meanwhile preheat the same pan and add 1-2 tablespoon of butter, let it melt or even get brown (brown butter will give you more flavor).

  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the dumplings from the water to a pan with a hot butter. Gently mix all together, make sure each pierogi gets plenty of butter.

  • Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Or freeze them for later.

  • It's optional, but nice to serve them with sour cream or cream fraiche. ENJOY!

Notes on freezing

To freeze pierogies for future use, lay them out on a plate generously dusted with flour. Freeze until they are completely hard, then transfer to a freezer bag. They last in the freezer for up to three months.

To serve pierogies as a soup (very comforting on cold days), simply boil them in chicken stock or beef stock, then top with minced dill and a dollop of sour cream.

pierogies on a pan

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest. 

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