Every nation has its dumpling. In Poland, it’s pierogi. At Cincinnati-based Babushka Pierogies, owners Sarah Dworak and Iwona Przybysz use recipes passed down from the old country, and stuff them to suit every taste.
The classic smashed-spud-and-gooey-sharp-cheddar version (six for $5) is Dworak and Przybysz’s signature, best enjoyed hot and glistening with butter.
Packs the most umami of any Babushka pierogi, the unmistakable tang of fermented cabbage providing a welcome balance to the starchiness of the dough and potatoes. Add a smear of sour cream, and a few strands of sautéed onions for a bit of sweetness.
Beef Mushroom Onion
The pot sticker’s distant Polish cousin, this pierogi’s meaty filling is so moist it almost passes for sausage. Almost. We know quality ground beef from Eckerlin Meats at Findlay Market when we taste it. Skip the boiling and pan-fry these slow and low in a puddle of butter until hot and crispy.
Spinach Mushroom Onion
Popeye would be proud—we’ve never been so eager to eat our greens. An earthy mess of wilted spinach, sliced mushrooms, and diced onion left us more full than the beef variety, and begs for a heaping dollop of sour cream.
Sweet Farmer’s Cheese
Dworak describes this traditional sweet filling as a cross between ricotta and cottage cheeses—and the firm, crumbly texture means it doesn’t ooze out of the dumpling.
Originally published in the April 2014 issue.