All You Need to Know About Pelmeni, Vareniki, and Pierogi

Category: ,

Pelmeni, Vereniki, and Pierogi are all types of dumplings that are found in either Russia (pelmeni and vareniki), or Central and Eastern Europe (pierogi). It’s believed that these little parcels of exquisite flavor are a variation of Chinese dumplings that were brought to Russia and Europe by the Mongols during their rapid westward conquests. While the Mongols eventually left, the great dishes they brought with them stayed, flourished, and evolved, and we’re glad they did! There’s often some confusion surrounding the differences between these dumplings, so here at NetCost Market, we thought we’d clear up any confusion and show you how you can make your own at home!

Pelmeni

Pelmeni are meat-filled parcels that are usually boiled or fried before being served with sour cream or in a broth. Unlike vareniki and pierogi, pelmeni are often filled with raw meat that is then cooked inside the tightly fastened dumpling. This process means the dumpling fills with the juices of the meat as it cooks, making each small bite burst with flavor! Another distinction from vareniki and pierogi is the use of bird cherries which are native to Siberia. These are often dried, ground into a flour, and then mixed with the dough to give the Pelmeni its own distinct flavor!

Vareniki and Pierogi

Vareniki and pierogi are popular in the states of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, and are, rather confusingly, actually the same thing! The name differs depending on the region, with states further east such as Russia preferring the term vareniki, while those further west, such as Poland and Slovakia, use the term pierogi. Unlike pelmeni, they are usually stuffed with a vegetarian filling of potato, cabbage, cheese, or mushrooms. They’re also commonly fried in butter, making them a very filling and hearty meal!

How to make these delicious dumplings!

First, we’ll show you how to make the dough which can be used for both types of dumplings, and then, we’ll show you how to make each filling so you can decide on which you prefer, or if you’d like to have a go at both!

Pelmeni, vareniki and pierogi dough:

You will need

– 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 large egg, 1 cup cold water.

How to make:

  • Pulse together the flour and salt in a food processor, and then, with the processor running, add the egg. Allow to mix, and then slowly add the cold water.
  • Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover with a wet tea towel for 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out to 1/16th of an inch thick.
  • Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles, recycling the dough that is left after all possible circles are formed so that there’s no dough left.
  • Place a teaspoon of filling into each dough circle, slightly off center, and fold the dough over to form a half-moon shape and pinch the edges shut with your fingertips.
  • To boil your dumplings, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the dumplings, cooking for about 10 minutes. Drain and serve.
  • To fry the dumplings, melt some butter in a skillet and gently pan fry them until golden brown.

Pelmeni filling (meat):

You will need

– 1 lb. ground beef, 1 lb. ground pork, 2 onions, 4 cloves garlic, ¼ cup water, ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, ½ bunch dill, 2 tsp salt, pepper, sour cream and dill to serve.

How to make:

  • Mix together beef, pork, salt, and pepper. In a food processor, blend together onions, garlic, parsley, dill, and water and add this to the meat mixture.
  • Mix together well using your hands.
  • Store in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until needed.

Vareniki and Pierogi fillings (potato version)

You will need

– 3 tablespoons butter, ½ cup chopped onion, 2 cups cold mashed potato, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper.

How to make:

  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and stir in the onion until cooked.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Heat through the mashed potato, allowing it to crisp a little without burning.

The history behind these wonderful dumplings is as charming as the flavors they bring to your palate, and we would love you to try to make them for yourself at home! Here at NetCost Market, we have all the fresh ingredients you need to make the perfect Pelmeni, Vareniki, or Pierogi, so there’s no need to worry about where to get all those ingredients – we’ve got you covered!

The history behind these wonderful dumplings is as charming as the flavors they bring to your palate, and we would love you to try to make them for yourself at home! Here at NetCost Market, we have all the fresh ingredients you need to make the perfect Pelmeni, Vareniki, or Pierogi, so there’s no need to worry about where to get all those ingredients – we’ve got you covered!

Leave a Reply