Easy Potato Perogy Filling
This traditional potato perogy filling is the very basic perogy (also called varenyky) that we all know and love. It is made plain (potato only) or with either cottage cheese or cheddar cheese (I use one or the other, but not both).and basic seasoning of salt and pepper and onions.
If you are making a traditional basic recipe it usually always has cottage cheese in it. If you want a cheddar filling, then either omit the cottage cheese and substitute it with the same amount of grated cheddar cheese. The point is that they are very customizable, as long as you start with potatoes you can pretty much add your cheese of choice or omit it completely, although I do recommend cheese.
As I have said before, I grew up in a restaurant family. Although we are not Ukrainian, my brother married a young Ukrainian girl from a town not far from us, that is mostly full of families of Ukrainian descent. My mom’s restaurant was not a fancy restaurant, she made and served delicious homestyle food. One of the traditions you could count on in the restaurant was that every Thursday Ukrainian food was on the menu of the day. The offerings included Borcht of course (traditional beet soup) as well as a perogy platter with all of the trimmings. Many of our regular customers would come on Thursday’s just so they could enjoy the perogies and soup.
This recipe is as traditional as it gets and when served with the usual toppings such as sautéed onions and crispy bacon and sour cream, you will see how delicious they are. They are not difficult to make, but it does take a bit of time. When you make a big batch of perogies you can freeze them for later. Just lay them on a tea towel lined baking tray, then pop them into your freezer for a few hours or overnight until they’re good and frozen, then put them in freezer bags. They can be cooked (boiled) from frozen and will rise to the surface when they’re done.
Potato Perogy (Varenyky) filling
- 1 medium onion chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 cups potatoes mashed
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup cottage cheese or grated cheddar cheese (if using)
- Peel, dice and boil the potatoes in salted water, drain when cooked
- While the potatoes are boiling, sauté onions in butter until translucent,
- Drain and mash the potatoes then add the sautéed onions and butter to them. Add salt, pepper and cottage cheese or grated cheese (if using) and mash well while the potatoes are still hot. Cool the mixture thoroughly before placing on rolled out varenyky (perogy). Once your perogies are all assembled you can either freeze them, or cook them. Varenyky can be made in large quantities and frozen. If you are freezing them, lay them on a parchment lined sheet tray and freeze for 1-2 hours, then remove and place in a resealable freezer bag for later use. If you want to cook them immediately, then drop the perogies into a pot of salted boiling water and give them a stir, to make sure they are not sticking to each other or the bottom of the pot. When cooked they will float to the top, about 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick your dough is rolled out. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and drain thoroughly. Place cooked perogies in a deep dish and sprinkle generously with melted butter and toss gently to coat them to prevent sticking. Serve with sour cream, crispy bacon bits and/or fried diced onions which have been fried in butter until soft and translucent.