This is a continuation of my Christmas Feast post. Although I’ve made pelmeni (Ukrainian/Russian meat dumplings) before, I have never successfully made varenyky. I decided this would be the year to succeed! Fillings for varenyky include potato, cabbage, or cherry. There are probably other options, but those are the most common in my experience.
For Christmas, I decided to make potato and cabbage varenyky. I tracked down the recipe for cabbage ones here. The potato filling is basically just mashed potatoes so I knew how to do that. I mentioned my plans to Lena, Stevie’s babysitter, and she was interested to learn how to make cabbage varenyky. This is another recipe that isn’t difficult, just time consuming and it’s much more enjoyable with company so we decided to combine our forces! She made the dough and I made the fillings, then we assembled them together. There is a recipe for dough in the link, but Lena made the dough we actually used. Her secret is to make the dough a couple hours (at least) ahead of time and knead it every 30 minutes or so.
The fillings are prepared and ready to go:
Basically, we rolled out a small circle of dough, put about half a spoon of filling in the center, then pinched it closed. It’s a bit time consuming, but goes pretty quickly once you get the hang of it and when you have some company to chat with while you do it . We ended up with a total of about 90 varenyky. The ones I planned to serve that night were just covered and put in the fridge. The rest were put in the freezer on a cookie sheet until frozen, then put in a ziploc bag.
The way you cook varenyky is to bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the varenyky. When they rise to the top, they’re done. Normally, they are served with sour cream. Let me know if you try making some yourself!