Placki (the plural of placek) are any sort of flat cakes usually round in shape – baked or fried – sweet or savoury.
These fried potato pancakes are so wonderful and although they take a bit of time to prepare it is worth it.
I tend to make these in the winter months as they are best made with older starchy potatoes.
They are best eaten straight from the frying pan – more a family dish than fine dining.
They should be thin and slightly crispy at the edges.
My father said he used to have them for breakfast in Poland.
My mother served them with fried eggs and bacon; one of my aunties serves them with curd cheese and chopped spring onions or with sour cream, in some parts of Poland they are eaten with sugar or jam!
I think this recipe crossed the Atlantic and is one of the origins of Hash Browns – but I prefer these!
In Poland a large breakfast size plate pancake topped with gulasz – goulash is known as –
placek po węgiersku – Hungarian pancake.
4 large starchy potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper.
1 medium or large onion
1 egg or just the egg yolk
salt & pepper
oil for frying
Peel the potatoes then grate them using the fine size of the grater into a large bowl, this is the part that takes time – I have tried using the coarse grate but they are not as good.
Leave to stand for a few minutes and the water from the potatoes will rise to the surface. If the potatoes are very watery pour of some of the water. The easiest way is to tip up the bowl slightly over the sink and hold down the potatoes with the palm of your hand.
Peel the onion and also fine grate it and add to the potatoes. This is the part that would often result in the grating of my knuckles as I tried to use every last bit of onion – I now often use some form of electrical mini-chopper to get a pulp of onion.
Add the egg, salt & pepper.
Add enough plain flour so that the mixture is thick.
Heat some oil in a frying pan, a thick cast iron one is ideal, place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot oil and flatten them out with the spoon or spatula. A pan should be able to hold 3 or 4. Fry till golden on both sides. They should be thin and slightly crispy at the edges.
Do not have the pan too hot or they will burn on the outside and be raw in the centre.
Do not have the pan too cool or they will end up too greasy and not crispy.
Serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven on a low heat whilst you make more.