UKRAINIAN VARENYKY WITH POTATOES AND FRIED ONIONS

These are the most traditional Ukrainian varenyky with potatoes and fried onions, and even with cracklings. These varenyky bring back memories of mornings from my childhood with my grandmother. They are the symbol of my family and country. My grandmother skillfully kneaded the dough, and if for some reason she didn’t like it 100%, she twisted her head in displeasure and swore at the flour. Her varenyky were big and plump, perfect, and each one was identical. And I couldn’t manage to make them the same, or even stuff the same amount of mashed potatoes in them. I sculpted my ugly varenyky and dreamed that when I grew up, they will definitely turn out to be like my grandmother’s. And it happened!

Pronunciation: Varenyky – is a Ukrainian dish, it is always Varenyky, not Vareniki.

You can find the video recipe of VARENYKY WITH MUSHROOMS AND POTATOES in my Instagram.


Ukrainian Varenyky with Potatoes and Fried Onion

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
50-60 minutes 30-40 minutes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)

Varenyky dough:

  • 120 ml (1⁄2 cup, 4 fl oz ) water
  • 200 g (7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 20 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 2 pinches of salt

Filling:

  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Coarse salt for baking potatoes

Topping:

  • 1 large onion, diced thin
  • 100 g (31⁄2 oz) sliced lard or brisket
  • Sour cream for serving

You can find the video recipe of VARENYKY WITH MUSHROOMS AND POTATOES in my Instagram. Let’s be friends!

INSTRUCTIONS

Varenyky Dough:

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Bring the water to a boil along with the butter. Then pour this into the flour in a thin stream and stir with a spoon. Hand knead for 3-5 minutes. Start gently, as the dough will be hot at first. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave on the table for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 2-3 pieces. When working with one, keep the other parts wrapped in plastic wrap.
  3. Place some of the dough on a clean dry surface and lightly dust with flour. Roll out thinly. Using a wide cup, lid, or round mold, cut out circles with a diameter of 8-10 cm.
  4. Place the filling on top of each dough circle. Using a brush, lightly moisten the edges with water and pinch together.
  5. Bring plenty of water to a boil. Salt. If the saucepan is small, cook the varenyky in batches. Place the varenyky in the water, cover to bring the water to a quick boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes. The dough is very thin, so the varenyky will cook quickly.

Filling:

  1. Bake or boil potatoes with their skins. Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F. Wash the potatoes and wipe dry. Do not peel or cut them. Pour coarse salt into a small baking dish. Just enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Salt is an excellent heat conductor. This will speed up the baking process and improve the flavor and texture of the potatoes. Trust me!
  2. Place the potatoes on the salt and bake for 40-50 minutes until tender. Check readiness with a toothpick. You can boil the potatoes in their skins and to make the filling, but I strongly advise against boiling peeled potatoes. This will make the filling watery and ruin the taste.
  3. Finely dice one onion. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet and add butter. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until soft. The onions should not change color much.
  4. Peel, chop, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. The potatoes should not turn into a homogeneous puree, they should remain textured with lumps. Add the onion along with the oil it was fried in, salt, and add lots of black pepper. Stir and cool slightly under the lid.

Making varenyky:

  1. Make the thin varenyky dough. Place some of the dough on a clean and dry surface, lightly dust with flour. Roll out thinly. Using a wide cup, lid, or round mold, cut out circles with a diameter of 8-10 cm.
  2. Fill each circle of dough with 1 tbsp of potato filling. Using a brush, lightly moisten the edges with water and pinch closed.
Varenyky dough
  1. Bring plenty of water to a boil. Salt. If the saucepan is small, cook the dumplings in batches. Place the varenyky in the water, cover to bring the water to a boil quickly, and cook for 2-3 minutes. The dough is very thin, so the varenyky will cook quickly.
  2. Topping. Cut the lard or brisket into small pieces. Place in a dry, hot skillet to melt the fat. When the lard begins to change color, add the thinly diced onion and fry until golden brown. Season with salt.
  3. Remove the varenyky with a slotted spoon and place them on plates. Spoon the fried lard and onions on top. Pepper well and serve with sour cream.

UKRAINIAN HOME COOKING
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I'm Alona Bogdanova – cookbooks writer from Ukraine. I create and photograph gourmet, approachable and exciting recipes for every day.

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