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Recipes for every day
Zrazy zawijane (stuffed beef rolls)
0.50-0.60 kg boneless beef, 30g fat, 50g pork fat, 0.10 kg pickled gherkins, 0.10 kg carrots, 0.10 kg celeriac or parsnip, 0.10 kg onion, 1/8 l cream, salt, pepper, mustard to taste
Cut the meat into wide strips and beat them thin with a tenderiser. Spread a thin layer of mustard over every piece and sprinkle with finely chopped onion. Julienne the pork fat, carrots, parsnips and gherkins, dust with pepper, place on the meat strips, wrap tightly and fix with wooden skewers or thread. Dust with salt and flour, brown in hot fat and put into a flat saucepan; pour in the frying fat and 1/8 l water. Stew slowly until soft. Then sprinkle the rest of the flour over the gravy, add pepper, bring to the boil and add cream. Place the rolls on a platter and pour over with the gravy. Serve with buckwheat or barley groats, or with potatoes, with a side-dish of mixed vegetables, or raw or cooked vegetable salad.


Herring in sour cream
0.5 kg salted herring fillets , 1 onion, 80 g apples, 1/8 l sour cream, salt, sugar, lemon, 1 tsp parsley
Divide each fillet into 3 - 4 portions and place them in a salad bowl. Grate the apple coarsely and chop the onion; mix both with sour cream, add salt, sugar and lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the herring slices.


Żur with bacon or sausage
0.25kg mixed vegetables, 0.15-0.20 kg bacon or sausage, 1 1/2 l water, 1/4-1/2 l żur, 0.80kg potatoes, 20-30g flour
Boil the vegetables and bacon to make stock. Drain it, add żur, mix in flour, bring the mixture to the boil and add salt. Put in diced bacon and crushed garlic. Serve with potatoes with bacon on top. Żur is a ferment of rye flour in water.

Fermenting the żur: 0.10kg rye flour, 1/2l warm boiled water, a slice of stale rye bread
Mix flour with water, pour the mixture into a glass jar or stone pot and put away in a warm place for a few days.Barszcz with uszka


Soup: 1 1/2 l water, 0.4kg beetroot, 0.3kg boned meat, 0.2kg bones, 0.2kg mixed vegetables, 10g dried boletus mushrooms, 50g onions, a beetroot souring agent, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove of garlic, pepper, salt, sugar
Put the meat, bones and soaked mushrooms into a pot, add the water, salt and cook on a slow heat.
When the stock is almost ready, add the vegetables, lightly browned onions and spices. Bake or boil the beetroots separately, then peel them, grate and add to the drained stock. Add garlic mixed with salt and sugar, and beetroot souring agent. You can make your own fermented beetroot juice by standing slices of raw beets in a pot of boiled water in a warm, dark place for a few days, with a slice of rye bread to aid fermentation. The soup can also be made using ham, bacon or sausage stock, or with vegetable stock for a veggie variety.

Uszka: filling: 0.1kg dried mushrooms, 30g stale roll, 20g breadcrumbs, 50g onion, 20g fat, pepper, salt; pastry: 0.15 kg flour, 1 egg, about 1/8 l water
Soak the mushrooms for a few hours and boil to evaporate most of the water. Fry diced onion to make it golden. Soak the roll and squeeze it dry. Drain and mince the mushrooms, adding breadcrumbs, salt and pepper; mix all the ingredients well. Make the pastry from the flour, egg, and water, knead and roll it out and cut into 3-4 cm squares. Put a spoonful of filling on every square, fold over diagonally and press edges firmly together. Stick the two longer corners to form a kind of rounded handle. Boil in plenty of water.

 
Polish bigos
0.40kg brined cabbage (sauerkraut), 0.40kg sweet cabbage, 0.20kg boneless pork, 0.20kg veal, 0.25kg sausage, 0.10kg smoked bacon, 30g fat, 50g pork fat, 50g onion, 10g dried boletus mushrooms, 50g tomato puree, 20g flour, salt, pepper, sugar, a few prunes, allspice, bay leaf
Finely chop the brined cabbage, add small quantity of boiling water and boil for an hour. Shred the fresh cabbage, add boiling water and boil with chopped mushrooms for about 40 minutes. Rub the meat with salt, brown it slightly in fat on every side and put in the brined cabbage. Add bacon and stew all the ingredients for about 50 minutes until softened. Dice the pork fat and melt it; add the scratchings to the bigos. Take out the meat, mix the brined and fresh cabbage and optionally thicken it with flour browned with fat and onion. Slice the sausage and dice the pork, veal and bacon; mix all the meats with the cabbage, add tomato puree and seasoning.
Bigos may be served with a variety of meats (game, roast poultry, smoked meats etc.). The more meats there are, the better it tastes. And you can enhance the taste by adding some red wine.


Pierogi
Pastry: 0.35kg flour, 1 egg, salt, about 1/8 l water
Sieve the flour, mix it with salt, water and egg to make the pastry and knead it until firm. Divide the pastry into a few portions and roll them out until about 0.25 cm (0.1 inch) thin. Cut out circles using a 5 cm (2") diameter round cutter (or glass) and put a spoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Fold over and press edges firmly together. Make sure the pierogi are well sealed and put them into a large pan of salted boiling water. Stir them carefully and cover the pot. When they go up to the surface, remove the cover and continue boiling for another 2-3 minutes. Lift out of water with a perforated spoon, drain, lay on a warm plate and pour over with melted butter. For pierogi with a fruit filling, use cream instead. Pierogi ruskie or pierogi with mushrooms may be served with pork scratchings.

Filling for pierogi ruskie: 0.80kg potatoes, 0.20kg curd cheese, 50g onion, 30g fat, salt, pepper
Cook jacket potatoes, peel and mince them, add the cheese. Add diced and lightly browned onion and mix the ingredients thoroughly, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Filling for pierogi with mushrooms: 0.80kg fresh mushrooms, 0.10kg onion, 40g fat, 40g stale roll, 30g breadcrumbs, salt, pepper
Cut the mushrooms into thin slices, add 2/3 tbsp water, cover the pan and boil until all the liquid has evaporated. Soak the roll in water or milk and stir-fry onion rings until light golden. Mince the mushrooms, roll and onion together. Add salt, pepper and breadcrumbs and work the mixture into a paste. Pour some fat with browned breadcrumbs over the pierogi when cooked.

Do's and don'ts of pierogi-making

Get the right texture for the pastry - firm enough to hold the filling without bursting, but soft enough for the edges to seal properly - roll out the pastry to an even thickness throughout.

Get the right amount of filling on each pieróg to make a puffy, cushion-like pouch, not flat and not over-full.

The cooking pan should be big enough for the pierogi to freely float up to the top when ready. Don't put in too many to boil at the same time.

Drain the cooked pierogi well; don't lay undrained pierogi one on top of another, or they'll stick and tear.

Any cooked pierogi left after the meal may be served fried as a delicious alternative way of using leftovers.


Walnut and honey mazurek cake
0.3 kg walnuts, 0.4 kg powder sugar, 5 egg whites, 2 tbsp honey, 1 large cake wafer, vanilla, a bar of plain chocolate

Shell the nuts and chop finely. Prepare a pot with boiling water. Put the wafer in a square baking tray or a springform pan; whisk the egg whites, stirring in the sugar when almost done. Put over a bain-marie steam-bath and whisk again until hard, then take off and continue whisking until cold. Warm up the honey if it's crystallised. Mix the cold whisked egg-whites with the nuts, honey and vanilla. Spread evenly over the wafer. Garnish with nut halves, put into a medium-heat oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Take out, remove from the tray or pan with a sharp knife, put on a wooden tray and decorate with melted chocolate. Wait at least ten hours before cutting into pieces.
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