Varenyky Filling

Recipe Date: November 18, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Use this filling recipe for Maria’s Potato, Caramelized Onion and Smoked Ham Varenyky


  • 1¼ pound large Yukon gold or russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces applewood smoked ham, finely diced


1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a small handful of salt then the potatoes and bay leaf. Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. The potatoes should slide easily off the end of a knife when poked.

3. Drain the potatoes in a colander over a sink and let them sit until they are dry but still hot. Discard the bay leaf.

4. Turn the potatoes out into a bowl and mash finely with a large fork. A few lumps are ok. Cover with a towel to keep warm and reserve.

5. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the butter. When the butter bubbles and starts to brown add the onions and cook until the onions are soft. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the onions from sticking and burning. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Add the ham and cook until you can smell its smokiness. Add the onion and ham mixture to the reserved potatoes and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

7. When cool, the potato filling can be used to make the Varenyky immediately or refrigerated until ready to use in a day or two.