[my annotations are in square brackets --Kay]
Pierogi, a dish which most likely comes from the older Slavic folk cuisine, has acquired great long-lasting popularity in Polish kitchens in villages as well as in cities.
Pierogi are an inexpensive, easy to make, nourishing and very tasty dish. They may be served directly after cooking, or fried when cool. In both versions they are delicious, so that it is worthwhile making them in greater quantities, served freshly cooked for lunch and refried for dinner.
Dough for Pierogi
On a pastry board knead dough from 14 oz. flour, a pinch of salt and a whole egg, adding some lukewarm water in order to get a quite loose dough which is very well kneaded and does not stick to the hands or pastry board. Divide the dough (covered with a bowl so that it does not dry) into 4 parts, then roll each one out thinly. With a tea-cup or wine-glass cut out circles that are 2-2 1/2 in. in diameter. Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling on each circle, fold over and press the edges firmly so that it does not open during cooking. The shaping of pierogi itself calls for a little experience, as they should be neat, not crushed, well filled and well stuck together at the edges.
1) For Russian pierogi (especially popular in Little Poland) put 1 lb. cooked potatoes and 6 oz. cottage cheese through a meat grinder. [I'd use a blender or just whack it all with a fork.] Add 1 small raw egg to this, along with 1 medium onion, finely chopped and browned to a golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. [That's the filling.] Cook the shaped pierogi in a shallow wide pot, in a large amount of lightly salted [boiling] water. When they come up to the surface, cook them over low heat for 4-5 minutes more, then take them out with a large strainer spoon and drain well. These are the standard steps in the preparation of all pierogi. Pour butter or pork fat (with cracklings) over the Russian pierogi. Separately, thick, lightly soured cream may be served.
2) Pierogi with a farce [(stuffing)] made from sweet cabbage or sauerkraut are very popular. Cook a sweet cabbage (2 lbs.) in salted water, chop finely and simmer until tender in butter or lard with one medium finely chopped (or previously [chopped and] browned) onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Several cooked dried mushrooms [Boletus spp., I'd think] with the stock [(soaking water)] may be added to the cabbage, after which it is fried for a while, so that the filling is thick enough. The farce is tasty even without the mushrooms. Some add 1 finely chopped hard-boiled egg to the farce.
In the case of sauerkraut, take 2 lbs. of it, very finely chopped and simmer in 2 oz. fat (pork fat or butter), adding a fried onion, pepper and salt and some breadcrumbs. Cooked, very finely chopped mushrooms may also be added, using the stock to flavour a soup.
Pierogi made with sweet cabbage are served with hot (but not browned) butter and those made with sauerkraut are served with pork fat and cracklings.
3) Pierogi with cheese: rub c. [circa, about] 1 lb. well drained cottage cheese through a wire sieve, then mix thoroughly with 1 small egg and salt moderately. The filling swells during cooking, so do not use too much. Serve immediately after cooking, after pouring butter (2 oz.) liberally over them. Separately, sour cream may be served. These pierogi should not be reheated.
4) Pierogi with meat. This is a valued dinner dish in the Polish cuisine, and is served with various vegetable salads, and especially raw sauerkraut. The filling is made from 1 lb. cooked beef, ground together with a soaked and squeezed out white roll (2 oz.), seasoned with 1 medium, finely chopped onion, lighly browned in 1 1/2 oz. butter, pepper and salt. If the filling is too dry, add 1 egg yolk. Usually melted pork fat with cracklings is poured over the meat pierogi or else browned dry breadcrumbs and melted butter. They are also very good when refried (lightly browned).
5) Pierogi with buckwheat kasha. This is an authentically folk version of pierogi, worth mentioning as it is very tasty. Dry roast 1 cup buckwheat kasha [not the uncooked grains, but after boiling until tender!], add 1 finely chopped onion which has been browned in pork fat or butter (2 oz. fat), add salt and pepper to taste. 4 oz. cottage cheese rubbed through a wire sieve may be added to the filling. Butter or pork fat with cracklings is poured over pierogi with kasha and sour cream is served.
6) Sweet pierogi with cheese. These are a typically Polish and very nourishing dessert, which should be remembered when composing a dinner menu to which they will be an attractive addition.
The dough is prepared in a slightly different manner from that of the previously mentioned pierogi. It is made from 1 lb. flour, 1 1/2 oz. butter, 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, about 1/2 cup lukewarm water and a pinch of salt.
The filling: mix 1 lb. cream cottage cheese that has been put through a sieve with 2-3 oz. sugar. Add 1 tablespoon very finely diced candied orange peel and 2 oz. small raisins.
Pour butter liberally over the cooked pierogi and, separately, serve fresh thick, slightly sour cream. These exquisite pierogi should not be reheated.
7) Pierogi with blueberries, sour or sweet cherries, diced apples or very thick preserves, are made in the dough used for Russian pierogi. The sour and sweet cherries may be stoned. The fruit is mixed with 1 tablespoon sifted breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar. Separately, sugar and sour cream are served with pierogi with fruit, over which butter has been poured.