Memories from Summer of 2018

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PYROHIS (Varenyky) - Ukrainian Cuisine

(Potato, Onion and Cheese-filled Dumplings)
10 to 12 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
½ pound grated medium or colby cheddar cheese
4 medium onions ( chopped)
1# margarine or butter (I prefer butter)
Garlic salt and coarse black pepper
Dough ingredients:
5 - 7 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
water (as needed)

Cook  potatoes as you would for mashed potatoes until tender and then drain and keep in the pot. 
At the same time the potatoes are cooking, sauté  the onions and the entire pound of margarine. When the onions are done, using a slotted spoon, scoop out about 3/4 of the onions and put into the pot of potatoes. You will be saving almost all the margarine for the end of the recipe with a little bit of the onions. Also,  add the shredded cheddar cheese to the potatoes. Mix the potato mixture until as smooth as possible. It will be a little lumpy with the onions in it. Add garlic salt and pepper according to  your own taste and mix until done.
Set aside to cool while you work on the dough. 

Put 6 cups of flour  in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In the well, put in one tsp. salt, both eggs ( already slightly beaten), and about one cup of water. Mix well with a strong wooden spoon and add water or flour as needed until the dough is formed.  Add water or flour as needed. When it's almost ready,  it will no longer stick to the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and shiny. Continue adding flour to the board so it doesn’t stick. Set aside, cover  and let the dough rest.
Fill a large 6 -8 quart pot with water, add a tsp. of salt, and bring the water to rolling boil.
The process of the making the pyrohis is easy but it is a long one. Extra hands wouldn’t hurt to help in the pinching process.
On one side of your table, place a clean sheet folded to fit your space and flour the sheet very well. It will be the place you will set your pyrohis  until you boil them. If your surface is not floured, they will stick and fall apart in the boiling process. 
Cut off about 1/3 of the dough and roll with a rolling pin until thin (not too thin). Cut circles with a round biscuit cutter or a glass. Keep hands floured so the dough doesn't stick.   Stretch each little round of dough a little at a  time until there is enough space to put the potato mixture in. With a  heaping teaspoon, fill the center of the dough with the potato mixture and fold the dough over and pinch the edges tight with floured fingers to form a crescent. 
Put the completed pyrohi on your well-floured sheet and continue the process until all your pyrohi are done. If the water is boiling too much, turn down until you are ready to boil them.
Now the actual cooking starts. Put about a dozen of the pyrohi in the boiling water and stir once easily to loosen them. Now let them boil until they float to the top of the pot and let them boil for another minute or so. 
Remove them one at a time with a large slotted spoon and put them into a colander to drain. Use a large cake pan or a roaster pan and drizzle the bottom with the extra onion margarine. 
Place the drained pyrohi in the pan and cover them with a little margarine and onion mixture and shake the pan back and forth to keep the pyrohis from sticking to each other. Repeat the process until all the pyrohi are done. Keep the large pan or roaster in the oven only on warm and cover them with foil or lid to keep them from drying out until they are served.

If there’s any dough remaining, roll  it out thin on the floured surface and cut into strips, boil, drain and use for buttered noodles or holushki  (Sautéed cabbage and noodles.)


They taste great with sour cream or French onion dip on top.   You may also save leftovers  (if you have any) and fry them crispy on both sides.   Dobree (good)!


Laura (Oberhoff) Thompson said...

When I was in elementary school went to a Ukrainian Catholic school in Chester, PA where the older ladies of the church came to the school kitchen every Thursday and Friday to make perogies. I made your recipe today and they were exactly as I remembered them. Excellent recipe! I'm so glad I came across your page. Thank you :)

Natasha said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Even though time consuming, they are well worth it. I make them also with cherries inside. I was born in Ukraine and my mom always used to make them. These Varenyky never get old :)