Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oma's's Varenyky (Perogies): a Ukrainian dish

This is a Mennonite dish derived from my family's Ukrainian and Russian heritage. My mom and grandma made them, and I do too, although I am not nearly as precise as they were! They used eggs in their dough, but this recipe somehow seemed less complicated and easier to roll (more elastic).

Verenyky (or perogies) are essentially little pockets of a special stretchy dough filled with lots of good surprises. I have given a variety of suggestions for fillings, based upon experience. They are dreadfully expensive in stores here in Vegas - I would much rather make them myself! FYI: I prefer the potato and cheddar cheese or fruit varieties to the sauerkraut and cabbage. My mom also made them with a mixture of cottage cheese and eggs. That will always be my favorite type.

Verenyky (Perogies)



  •  5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 c cottage cheese (preferably dry curd)
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp sweet cream
1 pound sauerkraut
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter
3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 cube chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons pepper

    Canned pie filling or jam (preserves). Fresh apples, peeled and cored, cut into small pieces and cooked in a bit of water with sugar and cinnamon may also be used. The use of rhubarb is also perfect for a traditional farm dessert in fruit perogies, which should be boiled, fried, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon sugar and then served with ice cream or whipping cream (prepare as above).
      1. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the soft butter and evaporated milk; stir gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Add water only as needed, kneading continuously until dough sticks together. Place dough into a greased bowl, turn to coat, and let rest for 30 minutes.
      2. To make the potato filling, place potatoes into a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Saute onions in butter until tender. Mix the onions into the potatoes along with the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
      3. To make the sauerkraut and cabbage filling, pour the drained sauerkraut into a large saucepan. In a medium skillet, saute 2 onions in 1/2 cup butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir the onions into the sauerkraut along with the cabbage and chicken bouillon cube. Cook over low heat until liquid evaporates. Season with pepper and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool, then run through a grinder or food processor.
      4. To make the cottage cheese filling, simply fold all ingredients together in the bowl.
      5. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into 3 inch circles. Place one tablespoon of filling onto one side of the circle. Fold the other half over and press the edges to seal. Place finished dumplings onto a floured tray and keep covered.
      6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop 10 or so perogies into the water at a time. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove to a colander to drain. Place finished dumplings onto a lightly oiled dish and turn them to coat with a thin layer. This will keep them from sticking together. Serve with fried onions and sour cream. For best taste, cooled perogies also should be fried in oil and butter for a nice crispy surface. Fruit verenyky may also be fried in oil or butter and served with ice cream or whipping cream.

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