This Christmas, I made my family’s pierogi recipe for the first time. My Aunt Carol found the recipe a few years ago, written down in a forgotten notebook. She had last made the recipe with her mother (my grandmother) when she was 17, and wrote it down at that time. I’m so thankful that she found it and passed it on!
The story behind the recipe is adorable. While my “Grandpa Z” was serving in World War II, my grandma — they were just dating at the time! — took cooking lessons from a Polish woman in Grandpa’s neighborhood. From her, Grandma learned how to make pierogi and other Polish dishes so that she could impress Grandpa when he got home from the war. It worked, and the rest is history.
Grandma Zolnoski’s Pierogi
7 cups flour
3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Russet potatoes, baked and removed from skins
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped and sauteed in butter until soft
1 pound small curd cottage cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the dough. Mix flour, eggs, water, and salt and mix with a wooden spoon to make a shaggy dough.
- Knead until smooth, adding additional flour if sticky.
- Let dough rest under a damp towel for at least 20 minutes.
- While dough rests, mix potato, onion, cottage cheese, and salt and pepper to make the filling.
- Roll out the dough. We experimented with different thicknesses, and decided we liked it the thinnest we could get it with a rolling pin.
- Cut dough into rounds and place 1 tablespoon of filling in center. Brush the edge of each round with water and seal tightly to make half moons.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all dough is used up.
- To cook, boil pierogi in salted water for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on clean kitchen towel to drain.
- Sautee in olive oil until crisp — a few minutes per side.