Dumplings are very popular not only in Poland but also in Russia, Ukraine etc. Actually different types of dumplings are known in very different cultures like China or Italy. Polish name for dumplings is pierogi, this name originates probably from the Old Church Slavonic word piru meaning a feast.
The ingredients used for dumplings are simple and cheap, the filling can vary but the preparation is time-consuming. Mushroom and cabbage dumplings are used as one of the main dishes for the Christmas Eve supper.
Basic Dough Ingredients:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 egg yolk
- boiled milk
The basic dough for dumplings with mushrooms or cabbage - less flour and boiled water instead of milk.
Mix flour, egg and add milk and work dough until firm. Divide into 2-3 parts and roll each piece into a thin sheet (add some flour if too sticky) on a floured board. Cut into squares (1.5-2 inch size). Cut stuffing into squares with a knife. Fold over (the diagonal edges) and tightly press the edges.
Bring to boil a 3/4 full large kettle of water. You may salt a water a bit. Place several pierogi in the boiling water and watch until they rise to top. After the pierogi has come to surface continue boiling for a couple of minutes. Remove pierogi from kettle, place in container, you may add butter or margarine to prevent pierogi from sticking together. Store in refrigerator.
Hint: do not keep dough exposed to the air for too long without stuffing because it dries out and it is impossible to tightly fold it. Edges need to be pressed really tight.
For Russian dumplings (pierogi ruskie)
Cooked potatoes and white cheese (pot or cottage) mashed or ground, add cut fried onion, add pepper, salt, marjoram, dill mixed thoroughly.
For meat dumplings (pierogi z miesem)
Chopped leftover roast or boiled beef, add minced fried onion+ salt, pepper and other spices to taste.
For blueberry dumplings (pierogi z jagodami)
Dried and poured with sugar blueberries, be careful the edges of dough need to be pressed really tight.
Important Christmas dish consists of mushroom dumplings (usually accompanied by borsch soup) or cabbage dumplings (on the photo).
Filling for mushrooms' dumplings (uszka* z grzybami)
The wild mushrooms should be dried in the air for several days and ground, then cooked, add minced fried onion, pepper, salt and bread crumbs. If dried wild mushrooms are unavailable use fresh.
*uszka = means "small ears" because of the shape of the dumplings. They are folded twice so their shape is like the ears.
Filling for sauerkraut dumplings (pierogi z kapusta kwaszona)
Stew sauerkraut with onion fried with bacon. At the end dry, add salt and pepper and a fresh egg. Stir and cool down.
There is much more combinations for the filling. You cam try dumplings with spinach, with cabbage and meat with cabbage and mushrooms etc. You can also try lazy dumplings. The recipe will be added soon.
Check the next article HERE which explains what sauces and gravy that should be used for dumplings.
If you are interested in Polish cuisine I recommend to you a book written by Marja Ochorowicz-Monatowa, entitled Polish Cookery