Food is a connector, a unifier when words are hard to find & emotions hard to process. Our hearts hurt for Ukraine, and Ukrainian people across the globe. Here in Canada (home to a huge population of those with Ukrainian heritage), it’s said many of us are just one degree of separation from friends, family currently in harm’s way in Eastern Europe. Ukrainian roots run through our family on the kids’ paternal grandmother’s side (Andrew’s Mom) and this sacred homemade Perogi recipe written out in her handwriting and passed down from Great Grandma Mary has provided comfort and moments to find emotional equilibrium through many hard periods of the last few years.
While we all find ways to act in solidarity with Ukraine and help in ways we can, let’s not forget loving on the people and touching the communities directly in front of us is also revolutionary & world changing. May making this homemade Ukrainian Perogi recipe with your family bring connection, spark necessary conversation, and sharing it with people hurting in your community serve as an act of love and care to forge our shared humanity.
Grandma Kerr actually spelled Perogi as “Perohy” on the recipe card. There are several different names for Ukrainian Perogi, and even debate over their origin, but one thing is for certain, this homemade perogi/perohy/pyrohy recipe passed down from Great Grandma Mary is delicious and not at all complicated to make with five simple, affordable ingredients – flour, potatoes, cheddar cheese, egg & water. The recipe will render just over 2 dozen perogi dumplings.
Homemade Ukrainian Perogi
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 medium Potatoes
- ½ lb. Cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- Beat egg and water in a bowl, add salt and flour. Form dough into a ball, cover the bowl with a cloth and let sit for 2 hours.
- Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water. When softened, drain out water, mash and add cheddar cheese. Mix well.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly dusted surface until 1/8" thick. Cut out circles with the rim of a glass dipped in flour.
- Stretch each dough circle a bit, then fill with one spoonful of the potato-cheddar mixture in the center. Fold one side over to meet the other and seal together with the prongs of a fork. Place on a tea towel & cover, letting them sit for 1/2 hour. This recipe renders just over 2 dozen Perogi dumplings. Freeze what you don't need right away in a zipped freezer bag (up to 3 months).
- Bring a large, lightly salted pot of water to a boil. Place the perogi dumplings in and cook until they float to the surface and puff out, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- While the perogi boil, heat butter and diced onions on low-medium in a frying pan (*optional: you could also add salted pork here*). Add the cooked perogi to the pan and sauté approx. 5 minutes with the onion-butter mix. Place on a platter and serve with sour cream. Enjoy!
Serve the perogi with a side of veggies, or as a side to sausage, cabbage rolls and similar dishes that compliment them. Sour cream is the typical accompaniment to top your onion-butter sauteed perogi with. If you have leftover potato-cheddar filling (likely), you can make a potato casserole or try it in our Smashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie.
Understandably, current world events may have sidelined your appetite. Save this special recipe for another day, or make a batch, freeze and share with people in your community. In the meantime, if your heart feels prompted to help in some way, some of the (vetted) Canadian charitable organizations providing urgent humanitarian aid to families in Ukraine can be found through CanadaHelps.org. Empathy is the antidote to inhumanity.
Take good care of yourselves and your people,
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also enjoy these comforting classics:
In times of distress, these Family Resources for Uncertain Times: A Mindful Approach have provided some ease.