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Pierogi's - Boil before Saute ??

I made some fresh Pierogi's today and was wondering if I should boil them for a few minutes before I saute them in a skillet with butter and onions of should I just saute them real slow until done ... Help .. I am not sure if the boil is needed ? :)

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  1. I always boil before sauteeing.

    1. At our house we always had them boiled and then served in the melted butter and onions, not really caramelized. (Everyone else ate them with sour cream though I cannot tolerate the stuff). That's as far as the potato and cheese and the kapusta kinds go. I don't remember how they served the sweeter ones like cherry, again, probably with sour cream.

      1. ok, thanks, I guess I ask because I dont like the way they disfigure when you boil them, do you immediately put them in the saute pan or do you let them kinda dry from the water somehow first ?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jimbosox04

          I asked my sister who learned them from our aunt from Poland (we had a lot of deaths in our family). She has yet been unable to respond via this chowhound email but we're still trying.

          Frankly I had only one grandparent alive when I was and she was my father's mother, born in ''65, (yes when Lincoln was alive).

          Anyway I do remember that my mother, who did not like to cook, hated thick doughy pierogi like her grandmother made. Perfect is a pierog that has a very very thin dough and cooks in almost no time.

          1. re: junescook

            My sister said:

            As far as the pierogi go I am with you. If you make them fresh you have to boil them and either eat as like you said or some people like to saute them right away. We used to do that only if we had left overs. The frozen ones can be either boiled or fried as they are already cooked.. I still like them boiled,

        2. Pierogi dough should be cooked in water, just like fresh pasta dough. It only takes a few minutes, and don't boil vigorously so the pierogi stay intact.
          Transfer to towel-lined plate for a bit of drainage, and continue preparation by frying in batches.
          The thing is, you want that dough cooked. It will be tough and perhaps dry otherwise.
          Good luck and report back!

          1. Boil, then fry in bacon fat and onion, not butter....boil them until they float, and then strain. Then fry up some bacon and use the drippings to saute some onions, then add the boiled pierogis. This is the real Polish way to do it - I come from a long line....trust me on this one.

            14 Replies
            1. re: momskitchen

              Be careful declaring for all Polish. We never used bacon, and in fact, Mom fried in butter and onions. LOTS of butter.
              There's always more than one version.
              I come from 'off the boat' Polish, so....trust me on this one.

                1. re: smokeandapancake

                  Very interesting combination! Do you top your pierogies with sour cream? How about the hot dogs?

                  1. re: monavano

                    I found that they stuck to the pan horribly when I boiled before sauteeing, so I started sauteeing them first, so they browned a little, then boiling to finish cooking. (This is with frozen, storebought perogies).

                    1. re: jvanderh

                      True, it's really a matter of learning how to get them into the pan without them sticking.
                      Allow them to dry on paper towel, and make sure that your are generous with the fat for frying, and have the temp just right.
                      It's frying, remember that. The right temps will crisp, the wrong temps will leave your dough sticking and/or soggy.
                      But, that said, you method is like making wontons, and is a great idea!!

                      1. re: jvanderh

                        I learned from a TV show that if you heat the pan a bit before adding any fat (butter, oil etc), regardless of pan type, your food is much less likely to stick. I've had virtually no trouble with pierogi, or anything else for that matter, since adapting this easy technique.

                        1. re: Blinkins

                          If you're prone to rushing things, that's a good trick to help prevent you from putting the food in before the oil is hot.

                          1. re: jvanderh

                            definetly spot on. Boil first, then saute in a good amount of butter preferably in a non stick saute pan

                            1. re: ctfoodguy

                              Were you trying to reply to someone else?

                        2. re: jvanderh

                          Store bought pierogies are already boiled, so you don't need to do it again.

                            1. re: joycrcc

                              A par boil or gentle boil heats the filling through evenly, however.

                      2. re: monavano

                        Me too, monavano, but maybe you are from a different part of Polski! Anyway, bacon fat tastes better IMHO

                        1. re: momskitchen

                          Hey, what doesn't!!?
                          ( my mother used old Reverware pots and pans. I would ruin anything in them, but she was a genious. She would cook onions in butter , then add pierogies and cook them just so. Again, she had the touch!).

                    2. I use a non-stick pan and add about a 3/4 inch of water and cover so they basically steam. Then, after they are soft, I take the lid off, add butter, work it around the pan. If you have a good non-stick pan, they should release themselves when they start to brown.

                      1. YES! Boil, then saute. Enjoy the fruits of your labour--I'm envious!!

                        1. Definitely boil them, but only until they float if you're going to saute as well (which is really the only way to go IMHO).

                          1. with the purchased frozen pierogies, I usually put them in the nonstick frying pan with some butter/oil and add some water (maybe a quarter inch), cover and let steam for a while til thawed and then uncover to fry til browned. I wouldnt bother with boiling and then frying. This is simiar to the steam cooking method the chinese chefs use for theri fried dumplings.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jen kalb

                              This is how I prepare frozen pirogie also. However, fresh made like the OP is talking about need to be boiled and then sauteed, eaten or frozen.

                              1. re: wadejay26

                                I agree. I think the dough reacts differently in each preparation and it really depends on the result you're looking for. With fresh and frozen pierogies, a boil keeps the dough soft or softens it, and the butter saute is gentle, like a bath.
                                Sometimes I like the crunch of browning, but DH likes the softer pierogie.

                            2. Hmm...I fully expected ~designparadise~ to be the OP on this thread...

                              One trick that seems to reduce sticking is to shake the frying pan gently as you put the pierogis in the pan, and for a few seconds afterward, too. Not enough to slosh any butter/oil/fat out, but just enough to keep everything moving just a bit.