Honeyed Plum Sauce

  • Super with meats such as chicken, duck and pork.
  • Also with great with desserts and with yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 10 plums
  • 250ml water (maybe a little extra)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of runny honey

Method

  • Simmer the plums gently in the water.
  • Stir until the plums fall apart.
  • Add extra water if needed.
  • Add as much honey as required to taste.
  • Remove the pips – optional.
  • Serve hot with meats or chilled with desserts.

Placek po węgiersku

  • Po węgiersku  means in a Hungarian style
  • This is not so much a recipe but a way of serving two well known dishes – 
  • Kartoflane placki – Polish potato pancakes and gulasz. 
  • Usually the pancakes are made around 6-7cm in diameter, here each one is made the size of a breakfast plate around 18 – 20cm in diameter.
  • Try and made the pancake as thin as possible ( I think mine were a bit too thick!)
  • Serve with a portion of your favourite Hungarian style gulasz on top and a large dollop of soured cream and a sprinkling of sweet ground paprika.

Ingredients – Kartoflane placki

  • 4 large starchy potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 1 egg or just the egg yolk
  • Plain flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • 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 it out to make a large circle.
  • Fry till golden on both sides.
  • It should be thin and  slightly crispy at the edges.
  • Do not have the pan too hot or it will burn on the outside and be raw in the centre.
  • Do not have the pan too cool or it will end up too greasy and not crispy.

To Serve

  • Have ready your favourite Hungarian style gulasz – cooked and hot.
  • Place a portion in the centre of the pancake.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream.
  • Sprinkle with sweet, ground paprika.
  • Served on Meakin – Topic plates – from the late 1960s.

Kotlety with Courgettes

  • This is a version of my kotlety – Polish meat patties, burgers or large meat balls.
  • Coarse grated courgettes are added – similar in a way to kotlety with sauerkraut.

Ingredients

  • 400g minced beef or pork or a mixture
  • Breadcrumbs made from 2 fresh slices of white bread or 2 bread rolls
  • 1 large onion – chopped fine – fried
  • 2 – 3 courgettes – coarse grated
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • *
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry

Method

  • Fry the chopped onion until golden.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Salt the courgettes and leave them in a colander for around 30 minutes.
  • Place the courgettes in a clean linen tea towel and squeeze all the liquid out.
  • Mix the mincemeat, breadcrumbs, onion, eggs and courgettes together well.
  • Season with salt  and pepper.
  • *
  • Make flattened round patties and cover with dried breadcrumbs.
  • *
  • Fry on both sides in hot sunflower oil.
  • *
  • Delicious hot but also great served sliced and cold with salads and bread.

Kartacze or Kołduny

  • Kartacze, sometimes called kołduny , are potato dumplings, stuffed with meat and then boiled.
  • They are very similar to pyzy  but they are a different shape – long rolls rather than round balls.
  • Traditionally they are served with some skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits or slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter poured over them.
  • There are many recipes, some made with raw potato, others with boiled or steamed potatoes and some using a mixture of the two.
  • I have found that using a 50:50 mixture of  fine grated raw potatoes and boiled potatoes gives the best results.
  • You will need some flour, which can be wheat flour, potato flour or a mixture of the two (I prefer just wheat).
  • You also need eggs or egg yolks – around 1 egg to 1 kilo of potatoes.
  • For the filling you needs some cooked meat such as from a klops – meat loaf, cooked kotlety (meat balls/burgers) or meat filling for pierogi.

Ingredients

  • 750g of raw potatoes
  • 750g of cold boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour  & extra for dusting
  • Salt

Method

  • Grate the raw potatoes using a fine grater.
  • Place the potatoes on a clean tea cloth.
  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Mash or use a ricer to get the boiled potatoes smooth and lump free.
  • Mix the two sorts of potato together in a large bowl.
  • Add the egg and the yolk and mix together.
  • Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
  • Add some salt.

Ingredients – Filling

  • 250g of cooked and then minced or finely chopped meat(usually pork)
    such as from:
    • Klops – meat loaf
    • Cooked minced kotlety (meat balls/burgers)
    • Meat filling for pierogi.
  • Half a grated onion
  • 25g of melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs – bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper

Method – Filling

  • Mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff filling.
  • Season to taste.

Making the kartacze

  • You are aiming for  a thick roll.
  • Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into a flat oval.
  • Place this onto a floured board.
  • Add a tablespoon amount of the meat filling.
  • Bring the potato mixture around the filling and with floured hands shape into a roll.
  • Seal up the short ends with the potato dough.
  • Repeat this with the rest of the potato mixture and meat filling mixture.
  • Have ready a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a bit of sunflower oil..
  • Place around 4 kartacze at a time into the hot water.
  • Let them rise to the top then simmer for 8 – 9  minutes –  not too long as they will start to disintegrate.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander over a pan.
  • *
  • Place into a warm serving dish and top with skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits, slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter.
  • Keep the dish warm and continue adding to the kartacze in the dish as they cook.
  • The fat in the topping stops them sticking together.

Liver Pulpety Served in Green Soup

I wrote about pulpety over three years ago. They are small meatballs which are simmered, often in stock, not fried.

They are often used as an accompaniment for soup,

In this recipe the liver pulpety are cooked directly in the soup and served with it.

Ingredients – Pulpety

  • 150g of pork liver or chicken liver
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaved parsley.
  • 60g-80g of dried breadcrumbs – see Breadcrumbs – Bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Some plain flour for your hands for shaping.

Method -Pulpety

  • Mince the liver or wizz in a mini-chopper.
  • In a large bowl mix all the liver, egg and parsley together.
  • Add salt & pepper.
  • Add enough dried breadcrumbs so that it is a firm mixture – best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Put some flour in a dish for your hands to make it easier to shape the pulpety.
  • Pinch off small bits of the mixture and roll the piece between your hands to make small round balls and place these onto a floured board or tray whilst you make them all.
  • *
  • Leave these to chill in a cool place or in the fridge.

Ingredients – Soup

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen whole green peas
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method – Soup

  • Chop the green beans  into small pieces similar in size to the peas.
  • Chop the green and white parts of the spring onions in to small pieces.
  • In a large pan melt the butter.
  • Add the chopped spring onions and fry gently till golden.
  • Add the peas and beans.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the peas and peas are cooked.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring the soup up to the boil.
  • Drop the pulpety into the boiling liquid and then let them simmer for around 5 -7 minutes.

To serve

Polish style would be to have 3-5 pulpety in a bowl of soup –  but for a light lunch  have a large bowl of soup with lots of pulpety per serving.

 

Pork with Rhubarb

Having made pork with sour plums, I thought, why not do something similar with the rhubarb that is growing in the garden?

I was cooking the rhubarb for a cake as well and chopped up the rhubarb and placed it in a large roasting dish with some sugar – not too much –  it does not want to be too sweet – keep it tart.

I placed this into a low oven GM2 -150°C for around 45 – 60 minutes – you want it soft but not totally disintegrated.

 

After roasting a loin of pork, I placed some of the rhubarb and juices into a saucepan and heated it through – adjusting the sugar if necessary.

You could just grill or pan fry pork chops rather than do a roast.

Serve the rhubarb hot with the pork.

 

Served here with new potatoes and carrots on Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1981 -1998.

Pork with Sour Plums

My holiday in Poland earlier this year has inspired many new recipes and posts.

This one was from a meal of slow cooked belly pork with caramelised sour plums and roast potatoes, which I had at the Gvara Restaurant.

 

I tried doing caramelised plums but did not have any success, as it was the sourness I liked, I did the plums a different way.

This works well with plums that are not quite ripe, I used small ones from the supermarket, the sort they say will ripen at home (I find they never do!).

Sour Plums

  • 4-5 per person depending on size.
  • Simmer whole with some water and a little sugar in a shallow wide pan with a lid till soft.
  • Keep taking off the lid and stirring and adjusting the heat etc.
  • You do not want a lot of liquid .
  • Aiming for cooked but still sour – add a little sugar at end if needed.

 

Roast Pork with Sour Plums

I roasted a joint of pork loin – I think that is much nicer than leg of pork.  You could just grill pork chops for this.

Serve the pork with the plums.

Served on Royal Doulton Tapestry 1966 – 1988.

 

Slightly Chinese Style Slow Cooked Belly Pork

 

Ingredients

  • Large piece of belly pork
  • 1 can of Jamaican fiery ginger beer – regular with sugar (NOT sweetener)
  • Sliced piece of peeled root ginger – around 8cm long (finger length)
  • 3- 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • Several long chilies, fresh or dried.
  • 3-4 grains allspice or cloves.
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 8 black peppercorns

Method

  • Place everything in a slow cooker and cook for at least 4 hours (often more)– till flesh is soft.
  • Remove from juices and cut into thick slices to serve. 

 

 

Served on Royal Doulton Tapestry 1966 – 1988.

Gulasz Soup

This is a soup I often make when I have some gulasz left from a meal, in fact I often make extra so that there is some!

There should be about 3 chunks of meat per serving – though of course that depends on the size of the chunks.

This works well with either beef or pork gulasz.

Ingredients

  • 350g of already cooked gulasz made with beef or pork, peppers and tomato such as in earlier posts.
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans – drained.
  • 750ml of chicken stock – can be from a cube or concentrate.
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée.
  • 125ml of soured cream.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Flat-leaved parsley or chives to serve & an extra dollop of soured cream if desired.

Method

  • Put the gulasz into a large pan.
  • Add the drainned beans.
  • Mix the tomato purée with the stock and add this to the pan.
  • Add the chilli powder.
  • Bring to the boil, cover and let it simmer for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Gently stir in the soured cream.
  • Sprinkle on chopped parsley or chives to serve.

Note

Butter beans or haricot beans should be good too.

 

 

Soup plates are Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Fruity Ribs

My Polish friend who lives in Leeds often goes back to Poland to visit relatives and to have a holiday.

This summer she brought me back a recipe book which covers  a year of meals (365 meals) divided into 4 sections – namely the 4 seasons.

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There are lots of lovely recipes in the book and I am sure I will be trying many of them.

Here are two I have tried already – adapted slightly to make life easier!

Recipe 1 (autumn)

1 or 2 racks of pork ribs

2 tablespoons of raisins or sultanas

120g of ready to eat prunes

120g of ready to eat apricots

3-4 tablespoons of plain flour

3 large onions – chopped

500ml dry red wine ( more might be needed or some extra water)

4 peppercorns

4 grains of allspice

4 cloves

1 teaspoon of  dried marjoram or Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 – 4  eating apples (best if quite tart – such as Granny Smiths)

Sunflower oil for frying

Method

Place the apricots & raisins in a bowl and cover them with hot water and leave for around 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C.

Chop the ribs into 2 rib portions.

Put the flour onto a plate and then flour the ribs on both sides.

Fry the ribs lightly in hot oil on both sides.

Place the ribs in the bottom of a oven proof dish which has a lid.

Fry the onions until golden.

Slowly add some of the liquid from the soaked fruit and cook together mixing it well.

Add this to the ribs in the dish.

Add the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, marjoram and salt.

Pour the red wine over the rib mixture.

Place in the oven for around 45 minutes.

Cut the soaked apricots into strips and add these, the prunes and the raisins to the dish and give the mixture a stir.

Place back in the oven and cook for around 90 minutes to 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Check on the liquid level during this time and add wine or water if needed.

Remove the core from the apples and cut them into quarters (leave the skin on).

Place the apples, skin side down, on top of the ribs and place the lid back on.

Put the dish back in the oven for around 20 minutes.

When serving, place the cooked apples on top of the ribs and sauce.

Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

 

 

Recipe 2 (spring)

Start this the evening before

Ingredients

1 or 2 racks of pork ribs

4 -5 tablespoons of runny honey

750 ml of apple juice (more might be needed)

Juice & finely grated rind of 1 lemon

100g of ready to eat prunes

3 -4  large tart apples (I used Bramleys)

3 cloves

Piece of cinnamon bark – around 10cm long

Method

Chop the ribs into 2 rib portions.

Coat both sides of the ribs with the honey and place them in a non-metal dish and sprinkle the lemon rind on the top.

Cover the dish and place it in a fridge overnight.

Next Day

Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C

Place the ribs into an oven proof dish which has a lid.

Add the cloves and cinnamon bark to the dish.

Peel, core and thickly slice the apples & sprinkle lemon juice on them.

Arrange the apples and prunes over the ribs.

Pour the apple juice over the contents.

Place the lid on top of the dish and put in the oven.

Cook for around 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender.

You might have to add more apple juice when you check on the progress

 

Variation

Instead of ribs you might want to use slices of shoulder pork (750g  – 1kg) the method is just the same.

I tried this with recipe 2 – the one with the apple juice.

 

Served here with boiled new potatoes and brussel sprouts à la Polonaise.

Serving dishes  are Carnation by Royal Doulton, 1982 – 1998

 

 

 

Ribs with Sauerkraut

For this dish use the best pork you can buy – I used some locally reared Yorkshire pork.

Ingredients

1 -2  racks of pork ribs

900ml – large jar of sauerkraut

2 onions – thinly sliced – fried.

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 cloves of garlic – chopped

1 tablespoon of sugar (more or less depends on the sourness of the sauerkraut)

4-5 peppercorns

350ml- of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate) – extra might be needed for topping up.

Caraway Seeds

Method

Take the sauerkraut out of the jar and put into a saucepan with any liquid from the jar.

Cover the sauerkraut with water and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to GM3- 160°C

You need a large oven proof dish with a lid  – I use an enameled dish.

Put the sauerkraut, and any liquid, and onions in the dish and mix well.

Add, caraway, garlic, sugar & peppercorns.

Pour most of the stock over the sauerkraut mixture.

Place the ribs on top of the sauerkraut and pour the rest of the stock over them.

 

 

 

 

Put the lid on the dish and place in the oven.

Check on the liquid level during the cooking time and add any extra needed so it does not dry out.

Move some of the sauerkraut  mixture over the ribs.

Cook for 3-4 hours.

This would usually be served with either rye bread or boiled potatoes.