Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kopytka: Polish Potato Dumplings

These dumplings were always served with Pork and Sauerkraut at home:
Once again, I don't have an exact recipe for amounts from home as Mama didn't measure anything, but the following proportions make really good, tender Kopytka that taste just like hers.  Kopytka means "little hooves" in Polish and that's the shape of these dumplings.  I cooked about 2-1/2 lbs. of russet potatoes in salted water to get the amount I needed for this recipe.  After I boiled and drained them, I shook them dry to get them fluffy. I used a potato masher but they could also be riced.  Taste for salt and add more, if needed.


1 cup flour
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 lightly beaten egg

Start a pot of salted water boiling.  Place the flour on a dough board.  Add the potatoes, 1 tsp. salt and the egg and mix right on the board.  Keep mixing and kneading lightly until the mixture forms a clean, soft dough.  Cut the dough in half and set 1/2 aside.  Take the piece and roll it with your hands into a cylinder--then keep rolling it by putting both hands over the middle and smoothing it out to the ends, while rolling it,  to make it longer and longer and  smaller and smaller in  diameter (like a rope) until it's about 1 inch in diameter.   Flatten the top lightly to make it about 1-1/2 inches across.  Cut with a thin knife into diagonal pieces and set them aside on the board. Repeat with the other 1/2 of dough.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen dumplings.  Drop the dumplings into gently boiling water (Use about 1/2 the dumplings at a time).  Stir once lightly to prevent dumplings sticking to the bottom of the pot.  After the dumplings float to the top, cook them another minute or two.  Lift them out of the water carefully and allow to drain in a colander.  Put drained dumplings on a buttered plate to prevent sticking until all are cooked.

Kopytka are ready to serve if you like them just boiled.  We always add them to a pan in which pork has been cooked to brown them lightly and to absorb the flavor from the pork.  Then we serve sauerkraut and the pork with them. We like to cover everything with coarsely-ground fresh pepper.

These are country-style spareribs that had been browned and braised until tender enough to fall off the bone.  Usually we prepare braised pork chops, instead, but either are good.  The sauerkraut was cooked separately and flavored with the pork drippings.

If you like dumplings more chewy, you can cut the amount of potatoes to 2-1/2 cups.
 Leftover kopytka can be refrigerated and reheated and browned in butter or in a pan of lightly-fried onions, etc., the next day.


Jake and Laura said...

How could one who doesn't eat meat enjoy such a dumpling? With tomato sauce?

poppyseed said...

You could put tomato sauce over it and it would be like Gnocchi. Then just sprinkle some parmesan on top. If you want the taste of these, you should fry a little onion in butter and then brown these a little in that mixture--like you would potato pierogi. Or brown kopytka in butter with some bread crumbs. (Cinnamon and sugar?)

Anonymous said...

A belated response to the question above: One of the tastiest ways to enjoy them if you don't eat meat is to fry them in some oil and a drizzle of Maggi (liquid seasoning). A sodium bomb but amazing! When I did eat meat, we traditionally ate these with a good meat gravy (heaven), but now I just use a veggie gravy.