Potato Pea Shoot Pierogis
These pierogi are the perfect make-ahead meal. They freeze beautifully and are a quick meal for those days when you don’t feel like cooking or just don’t have time. If this recipe seems daunting, let me tell you, they are worth the effort. Have your kids help out (I don’t have kids so maybe this is not a good idea?) or invite friends over and have a pierogi making party. Give your future self the gift of a freezer full of delicious pierogi.
If you’re a visual learner (like me!) check out my how-to video and watch me make these pierogi. You can find me on Instagram @ellencookstuff and on my YouTube channel, Ellen Cooks Stuff.
500g All purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. Salt, I use Diamond Crystal if you are using regular table salt cut the amount in half.
500g Baker’s potatoes, about 2 potatoes
110g Pea shoots, chopped
150g Cottage cheese, pressed overnight
15g Butter, room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional (but not really):
60g caramelized onions
10g horseradish, grated (Ok this is optional. Some people don’t like horseradish but I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like caramelized onions.)
A note about the potatoes, cottage cheese, and caramelized onions:
I recommend prepping your potatoes and cheese the day before or a few hours before you make your pierogi. If you are using caramelized onions (and why wouldn’t you really?) make these in advance. Proper caramelized onions take TIME.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Gently heat the water and butter on the stove. We want the butter to melt and the water to warm but not boil. Combine the water/butter with the flour and mix until it starts to come together. Dump this mixture onto your counter and knead for at least 5 minutes, or until smooth. Wrap your dough in cling wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. While your dough rests make your filling.
Prep your potatoes. Wash and poke the potatoes all over with a fork. Bake at 375F/190C for around an hour. A more traditional method would be to boil them and run them through a potato ricer. I don’t have a ricer so I use this method.
Prep the cottage cheese by lining a sieve with cheesecloth and placing it in a bowl. You will need the bowl to catch all the liquid that will drip from the cheese. Take up the ends of the cloth and tuck your cheese into bed. I place a small plate on top and then something heavy on the plate like a paper weight, or a can of tomatoes, or a cabbage, or…honestly whatever is heavy and fits. You get the idea. Place your cheese in the fridge overnight or for at least a couple hours.
Remove the skin from the potatoes and mash in a large mixing bowl. Don’t overwork them or they will become gluey and sticky. This is why people use a potato ricer but again I don’t think it’s necessary. To your potatoes add the chopped pea shoots. Chop your pea shoots into 1/4” pieces. If you leave them too long they will be stringy and it won’t be an unpleasant experience when you bite into your pierogi. Throw in your cheese, butter, and the caramelized onions and horseradish, if using. Gently combine. Now would be a good time to taste the mixture and then season with salt and pepper. Add some s&p, combine, and taste. Continue until you’ve reached your desired salt to filling ratio. Now your filling is ready. Set aside and return to your dough.
Before you roll out your dough take out a baking sheet and line it with a piece of parchment. You will place your pierogi on this for freezing. You can definitely eat these fresh but freeze what you don’t eat right away.
Time to roll out our dough. If you, like me, have a small counter space to work with then divide your dough into four parts. Keep the dough you are not using wrapped in the cling wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Flour your surface and rolling pin and start rolling out the dough to around 1/8” thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a water glass (sometimes you need to get creative!) cut out your circles of dough and place them under a tea towel. I used a 2 3/4” diameter cookie cutter (ok, it was a coupe glass). You can make your pierogi bigger or smaller. The smaller you make them the harder it will be to fill and shape them. Gather up the leftover dough into a ball and wrap it in the plastic wrap with your remaining dough.
Now for the fun part! Making the pierogi. Using a small spoon or a tiny ice cream scoop, place a small amount of filling (around 1 tablespoon if your circles are roughly around 2 1/2” - 3” in diameter) on your dough circle. Don’t overfill or you will have trouble sealing your pierogi. Gently fold your dough into a half-moon shape and seal, pressing the ends of the dough together. You can take a fork and press down around the edges if you’re fancy like that. Place your beautiful little pierog on the parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel. Repeat this process until you are done!
Once your baking sheet is full, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. When the pierogi are frozen transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag. They will be good for up to 6 months but honestly you’ll eat them all before then, I promise.
Gently boil your pierogi until they float. You can pan fry them after if you like or eat them as is. I like to serve them with sour cream, a sprinkle of peashoots, and if you have some leftover, more caramelized or fried onions. This is only a recommendation. Eat your pierogi how you like to eat them!
Depending on the size of your dough circles you may have leftover filling or leftover dough. If you have leftover filling you can shape them into potato pancakes and pan fry them. YUM. If you have leftover dough fill them with jam or fruit and sugar and make sweet pierogi. Fun right? And no waste :)
Recipe and Photo Credit: Ellen Sullivan