Make It From Scratch: Pirogees!

***Update added at end***
Friday, I made homemade pirogees. I don't know how you spell it in Slovak, but to pronounce it, but it sounds like "peer-row-hee" with a rolled 'r'.

For those fans of Mrs. T's, you have NO IDEA what you are missing!!!

DH's Grandparents came over from Czechoslovakia. Pirogees are a European food for sure! Full of carbs and butter.

They are surprisingly easy to make, but they can be time-consuming if you are making them for a crowd. We make them every fall as a group. DH's Grandma Anna comes over and 'the girls' in the family spend an entire day making dough, ricing potatoes, folding them and pinching the edges.

I made them on my own tonight for our meatless supper for this Friday of Lent. I made them on my own a year or two ago, but I did it in a rush and I didn't let the dough rest long enough. They tasted fine, but they were a little tough.

I made my dough in the morning, let it rest while the kiddos and I ate lunch and made the dumplings in the afternoon. They turned out AWESOME!!!

1 C. flour
1 egg
1 t. salt
4 T. water

2 medium sized potatoes
1 T chopped onion
salt & pepper to taste
1 T. oil

Mix dough ingredients by hand or in mixer with dough hooks until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out on floured surface. Adding more water or flour if needed. Dough should be smooth, but not sticky. Knead for about 2 minutes. Place on a floured surface under an overturned soup bowl to rest. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare filling: peel and quarter potatoes; place in pan and cover with water. Add the oil, salt and pepper to the water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. Drain. Rice the potatoes with ricer, masher, fork or pastry blender.

As an experiment, I took out about 1.5 Cups of the prepared filling and added about 2 oz. of cream cheese to it. I made this batch just the same as the regular ones, but kept them separate for cooking and serving.

Knead dough once again. Then, roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into squares (Size depends on preference. Mine were about 2x2 inches). Fill each square with potato filling and fold diagonally; pinch edges together taking care not to get filling between edges. Crimp edges with fork. Lay finished dumplings on a floured cloth to dry. Let dumplings dry well (1 to 2 hours).

To cook:
In a small sauce pan melt 1 stick of butter over medium heat. Heat until the butter has a nice brown color. Turn heat to low or off.
In large pot, bring 10 cups salted water to a boil. You may want to add about 1 T. of oil to the water to prevent it from boiling over. Place pirogees in the boiling water (I suggest about 15 to 20 at a time) and cook about 3 minutes or until they float at the top. This is fresh pasta and doesn't need to cook as long as dried. remove from water with slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain. Place cooked pirogees in serving bowl and toss with browned butter and salt. Serve immediately.

Suggestions: You may also fry the cooked pirogees in butter, but I like to save that for the leftovers. They make a great side dish, too. If you wish to freeze the pirogees, do so after they have dried on a floured cloth. Place them in a single layer on a tray or cookie sheet to freeze for 2-4 hours. Store in freezer bags. You could also use leftover mashed potatoes as filling if you have them. MIL said that her Mother used to make them with dry cottage cheese mixed with the potatoes and sometimes, she'd make them filled with "lekvar" (pronounced lek-wahr) which is essentially a prune filling. I have never been tempted to make those. :o)

I should also add that I made 5 times the recipe for our meal. I never did count how many pirogees I made, but I would estimate 125 two inch pirogees. I have to apologize once again for not taking pictures during cooking and serving. I am really bad about that. When I cook, I cook and when it's time to eat, forget the camera!

The meal was a success! My MIL came over for supper and she kept saying how good they were. She told the boys that her Mom used to make these for her all the time when she was little. DH then commented that, when he was little, MIL would make them for him every once in a while. LOL!

The experimental cream cheese batch was terrific! I actually liked them better than the regular ones. I think they had a better texture and flavor.
A few of you have commented or emailed asking about ricing potatoes. Ricing is basically mashing without adding any kind of liquid. Click here to see an actual potato ricer.
I also took a look at MIL's Slovak cookbook and found out that it is spelled Pirohy in Slovak.


Stephanie said...

What exactly is ricing a potato? I've seen the term before, but never really knew how it is different from mashing.

They sound yummy!

scribbit said...

These look delicious! They look hard but the pictures are excellent, I'll have to give them a try.

Margaret said...

Ummm...rice the potatoes with a ricer??? Umm... what is that?

Mandy said...

Yum! Potatoes and pasta sounds really good right about now! Maybe you could make them for us this summer. After the diet.

Celeste said...

Sounds great! I love anything with potatoes!

devildogwife said...

I LOVE pirogees, but have never made them from scratch. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Yum!!

Alexandra said...

Those look delicious!

Anonymous said...

Its actually just noodle dough, but they are delicious, when I make ours, I fill them with an icecream scoop of potoatoes with the onion thats cooked in a tablespoon of melted butter after grating, and mixed in 8oz of cream cheese