Periyukas (Lithuanian "pirogies")

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“My dad's fiancé's grandma's recipe, with a few modifications to make it clearer and easier, as made by my dad. You will need to have a clear rolling space available, a minimum of 18" square if at all possible. Can be separated with waxed paper and frozen after boiling. To re-heat, defrost in the fridge and heat by pan-frying. The bacon topping can be frozen and microwaved to re-heat.”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For dumpling
  • 2 lbs potatoes (starchy, like Russets)
  • 4 cups unbleached flour (up to 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For filling
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons onions, minced or grated
  • Alternative filling
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, not canned (homemade, fresh, in a jar, or pouch-sealed, drained thoroughly (must be dry!)
  • For topping
  • 12 lb bacon (the best quality you can get)
  • 1 white onion, 3-4 inch diameter, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For garnish
  • sour cream


  1. Make topping: Have bacon cold, possibly a few minutes in the freezer. Cut lengthwise strips in half, then cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces.
  2. Place bacon in cold pan, cook at medium heat, turn once.
  3. After turning bacon, add butter and minced onion, cook until onion is clear and at the point of turning golden. Set aside.
  4. Make filling: Break eggs, separate one and add yolk to the other (Reserve the separated white for sealing the dumplings).
  5. Stir into ricotta.
  6. Stir in allspice and onion. Set aside.
  7. Make dumplings: Cook the potatoes whole (microwave--pierced to avoid exploding--or boil or bake. Microwave is fastest) until soft. If you have a ricer, leave skins on. If not, peel them after baking or boiling and letting them cool.
  8. Put the reserved egg white into a small dish. Add about a tablespoon of water and stir together.
  9. Rice or mash the potatoes into a 1-1/2 or 2 quart mixing bowl.
  10. Add the salt.
  11. Stir in one cup of flour. Mix with a large fork. Add more flour in small amounts while stirring until the mixture forms a ball of dough. It's okay if it's still sticky, but it should be a cohesive ball.
  12. Spread some flour on the rolling area. Put the dough-ball on it and sprinkle more flour on the top.
  13. After the surface is floured, pull a fist-size piece into the center, set aside the rest. Roll the dough out thinly--1/8 inch or less.
  14. Cut into 4" rounds. (A size 1 Rubbermaid storage container is perfect for this.).
  15. To fill, place a tablespoon of the ricotta mix just off center on a dumpling. Use fingertips to wet around edges with egg white. Fold and pinch. Set them on a dry board as folded, don't overlap. Fill 4 to 6 at a time on a level cutting board. Fill all before boiling.
  16. Boil 4 quarts water and 1/2 tsp salt in a large pot.
  17. Add periyukas four to six at a time to boiling water. It works best to lower each one into the water on a large slotted spoon. When they float up, remove to a serving plate.
  18. Serve as they are OR brown them in a pan with butter OR brush with melted butter and put under broiler for a minute.
  19. Reheat the onion/bacon in a pan.
  20. Serve periyukas with bacon/onion mixture and sour cream in bowls for people to spoon on top.

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