Cooking, Baking, Knitting and meandering through life
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.