These potato dumplings taste like pork. Not because they are fried in bacon grease, but because they are literally coated in salt pork fat. The pork is fried and the fat is melted, then removed from the heat before the dumplings are tossed in and everything is mixed together. The pork eaters in my family love this Polish dish.
On our second day of Buszi and Aunt Jo’s cooking school (the first day we made pierogi), the same crew – my mom, Aunt Barb, cousin Jackie, and me – learned how to make these fatty little balls of dough.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you Buszi and Aunt Jo’s recipe. Buszi told me she couldn’t measure the flour; she just adds it in as needed so the dough isn’t too sticky or too dry.
But I can give you the recipe from Buszi’s Polish Cook book (sic), a bound collection of recipes of unknown origin from 1977. For you pork lovers, I will add the salt pork step.
When I saw Aunt Jo coat the dumplings in straight fat, I could barely get a bite down (I like my fat masked in a crispy, fried crust, thank you very much). But I have to admit that the pork gave these dumplings much-needed flavor.
And my other family members at the Kluski tasting – all 7 of them – had full plates.
My additions and notes are in italics.
2 cups grated raw potatoes (I recommend a food processor. It was a chore to grate all these potatoes by hand)
1 tsp. salt
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Cured Salt Pork (Hormel brand is available in some grocery stores)
1) Boil a pot of water.
2) Rinse potatoes in cold water, drain well.
3) Mix with other ingredients and enough flour to make a stiff dough.
4) Use a wet spoon to drop tablespoons of dough into boiling water.
5) Cook until dumplings float to the top.
6) Dice the salt pork and fry in a frying pan. When fat has melted and pork is fried, turn off burner.
7) Drop the kluski into the salt pork, toss to coat. Serve.
To your arteries – cheers!