How To: Spend Five Hours of Your Life Making Pierogi

Hey, guys! I heard you want to learn how to make pierogi!

What’s that? You don’t? Well, sit down and shut up, because this is all I got today, so you’re gonna get a pierogi recipe and you’re gonna like it.

Also, there are no process pictures, because it’s not only 5 hours worth of work, it’s 5 hours worth of consistent, tedious work. Sounds like fun, right? I’ll break it down for you:

1) Decide you want to make pierogi. Rope good friend with larger kitchen than you into being your pierogi-making buddy, because misery loves company. Plus, she lived in Poland for two months so it’ll be more authentic.

2) The night before, decide what fillings you want to have, and make ’em.

2a) i.e. Saute mushrooms until brown, then add an equal part of sauerkraut to the pan and cook for a minute; or boil peeled potatoes, mash, add milk, butter, and/or sour cream, then add healthy handfuls of grated cheese, sauteed onion, garlic, whatever you like.

2b) Also caramelize some onions for topping.

2c) Be sure to do this even if it’s suddenly 11:00 at night and you’re tired and want desperately to sleep; you won’t want to do this tomorrow, either.

3) On the Sacred Day of Pierogi-Making, eyeball the amount of filling you have and decide that multiplying this dough recipe by four ought to do the trick.

3a) Remember this later, so you can laugh at it.

4) Prep said dough and let it rest–it’s a bit springy because all you had on hand was bread flour, but you’re sure it’ll be delicious anyway. Clear your friend’s beautiful marble counters for the rolling-out of the dough.

5) Roll out dough. And roll and roll and roll. That dough sure is springy from the bread flour, huh? Find a glass that’s about 4 inches in diameter, and use that to cut the finally-rolled-out-to-1/16-of-an-inch dough.

6) Add filling to your cut-outs; dab the edge with water, fold, crimp with a fork, and hope fervently that they won’t split during the boiling process.

7) Boil a test batch; watch them all split at the edges.

7a) Curse your inferior crimping technique.

8) Roll roll roll; cut cut cut; fill fold crimp, fill fold crimp. Really go to town on those edges, ordering them not to split.

9) Realize that you don’t want to fry the boiled test batch just yet, because these need to be fresh and warm at book club tonight. Oil them in a vain attempt to keep them from sticking to each other like horny teenagers. Or is that horny slugs?

9a) Make a note to research slug mating habits for future reference.

10) Repeat ad nauseum for the next two or three hours until your hands start to cramp.

11) Realize that you still have a mountain of filling; laugh at 3a); run to the store for more sour cream and regular AP flour and make another 20-count batch of dough.

12) Roll roll roll; cut cut cut; fill fold crimp. Use up all of the sauerkraut and mushroom filling and most of the potato filling, and decide that that’s good enough.

13) Decide to count your pierogi; realize that with dough for sixty you have made ninety-five.

13a) Take a moment of silence to admire what ninety-five pierogi look like. (It’s pretty dang majestic.)

14) Fry up a few for a taste-test, and realize it was all worth it.

15) Cart a portion of them to book club, fry them up in butter, and luxuriate in the admiration of others.

(See? Majestic.)


16) Serve with a beautiful salad made by another club member from bell peppers, quinoa, squash, and herbs.

17) Add some chicken and apple sausage for protein and chow down.

17a) Talk about books or whatever. (Ours for this month was Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.)

18) Admire the also-beautiful lemon and rosemary sandwich cookies made by another club member.

19) Scarf said cookies with an adorable cat-mug full of black tea. Go home, exhausted but triumphant, with a container full of uncooked pierogi for later.

20) Never make pierogi ever again. (Just kidding. Make them again in six months when you’ve forgotten what a pain in the ass it is. Rinse and repeat.)

9 thoughts on “How To: Spend Five Hours of Your Life Making Pierogi

    • Mia says:

      It was at least 40% less miserable making them with you, too. Thank you for your company and kitchen (and I was only half-joking about the Poland thing).

  1. You nailed it. Both the pierogi (so much prettier than my attempts!) and the long spiraling misery that is constructing them. My little Polish grandmother has been claiming every year for the past fifteen years that she’s never going to make pierogi again– and after trying this myself last Christmas, I totally understand why!

  2. Thanks for a good laugh to start out my day. You lost me once you mentioned sauerkraut (I know, I know, I’m a bad German) but it sounds like a thoroughly lovely way to spend a day with a friend ~ with huge counters! It looks like your book club has some pretty talented cooks in it. Love the purple peppers ~ they look so pretty and delicious!

  3. This was highly amusing. Thanks for posting it. They looked beautiful at the end, and I love the presentation of the quinoa-bell pepper salad, too. I’ll have to stick that in the ol’ noggin. It’s like stuffed peppers without having to turn on the oven.

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