Vareniki ( varenyky, pierogi, perogies ) are stuffed dumplings from Ukraine made from unleavened dough and different fillings. Some of the more popular fillings are vegetables, boiled potatoes, salted cabbage, baked pumpkin, fruits and berries, meat, mushroom, cheese, poppy seed, or buckwheat. My favorite fillings are meat, potatoes with onions and mushrooms, cottage cheese or curd cheese with cherries. Vareniki with berry or fruit fillings usually are topped with a little sugar and served with a fruity syrup.
A few basic rules: the dough should always be elastic. Vareniki as well should never be allowed to stick to one another during cooking.
Vareniki are served hot with sour cream, shkvarki (fried pieces of lard/ bacon), butter, or syrup separately. Vareniki with potatoes and mushrooms are served on top with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions.
This dish along with borscht is considered typical in Ukrainian cuisine and are often mentioned in Ukrainian folklore. Vareniki has worldwide twins: pelmeni (Russian and Ukrainian cuisine), dumplings, manti (Turkic cuisine, as well as Hejaz and Caucasian, Central Asian, and Chinese Islamic cuisines), kolduni (Belarusian and Lithuanian cuisine), ravioli (Italian cuisine), khinkali (Georgian cuisine) are all close relatives to the vareniki.
There is also ‘lazy’ vareniki, shaped dumplings made by mixing tvorog (curd cheese) with eggs and flour into quick dough. The cheese-based dough is formed into a long sausage about 2 cm thick, which is cut diagonally into gnocchi, called halushky (halushki) in Ukrainian. They are quickly boiled in salted water and served with sour cream, jam, or melted butter.
Usually we make vareniki and pelmeni with my mom and/or my kids. This process is long, and takes no less than 2-3 hours, but you can make a lot of them and freeze them for later.
They can be enjoyed as an appetizer, main dish, an entree, or as a dessert.
This recipe of the dough below works perfect for vareniki or pelmeni, very elastic and easy to work with, one of my favorite! This recipe is perfect to freeze vareniki and boil them later when you are ready. Just place vareniki on a floured tray or silicone mat and freeze them. Then, transfer into Ziploc bags and store in the freezer.
Vareniki / Pierogi with potatoes and mushrooms or cherries and blueberries Recipe
By February 17, 2020Published:
Vareniki ( varenyky, pierogi, perogies ) are stuffed dumplings from Ukraine made from unleavened dough and different fillings. Some of …
- 2 cups whole milk room temp, for the dough
- 2 small eggs for the dough
- 113 g butter for the dough
- 1 tsp salt for the dough
- 5 cups flour all purpose, divided into 3 cups and 2 cups, for the dough
- 5 large potatoes peeled, quartered, for the potato mushroom filling
- water, salt for the potato mushroom filling
- 2 medium onions diced, for the potato mushroom filling
- ~150 g mushrooms diced, for the potato mushroom filling
- salt, pepper for the potato mushroom filling
- garlic and onion powder to taste, for the potato mushroom filling
- oil and butter for the potato mushroom filling
- box of sour cherries seedless, for the cherry blueberry filling
- box of blueberries for the cherry blueberry filling
- sugar to taste, for the cherry blueberry filling
- for the cherry blueberry filling *syrup to serve on top: boiled berries juice with sugar and little corn starch
- for the potato mushroom filling *half of sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onion I use for serving vareniki on top with sour cream and butter
- Combine milk, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour in a bowl. Knead the dough until thoroughly combined. Add 2 more cups of flour and knead again. Add the soft butter and knead until dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to the bowl or your hands, about 4 minutes. You can also use a mixer with the hook attachment. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, mash into a puree, mix with 2 tbsp of butter, garlic/onion powder and black pepper. Finely chop the mushrooms and onions, caramelize the onions in olive oil, remove them in a plate, then sauté the mushrooms in oil or butter, add salt and pepper. Mix mushroom and onions, add half of the mixture to the mashed potatoes, and the other half leave for the topping (serving)
- Roll out the dough thinly and cut with a cup or glass round shapes. Put the filling into each (about 1 tsp), connect the edges and tightly hold them together with your fingers. Alternatively, you can roll the dough and cut it into medium pieces then roll each into a circle, dipped in flour.
- Boil vareniki for about 2-3 minutes in salted boiling water in a large pot . Frozen vareniki take about 5 minutes for the vareniki to float to the top. Drain and add to a bowl. Add butter, gently toss to coat, and after serve them with sour cream or other toppings, depending on what vareniki you are making.
- For a crispy vareniki, once cooked, you can add them to a skillet with some butter and sear until crispy. Crisping them up in the skillet is a great way to reheat the vareniki next day. I like fried vareniki, so put your boiled vareniki in a pan with butter and fry on both sides over medium heat until golden brown for a couple of minutes.
- For sweet vareniki I like to use cherries and blueberries, so put 3-5 berries in the middle of your round shape of the dough, sprinkle a little bit of sugar and connect the edges tightly. I use frozen cherries for the filling, so when I defrost cherries there remains a lot of cherry juice which I use for making some syrup with sugar, corn starch, and some blueberries also. This syrup is perfect to add after the vareniki are boiled.
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