I guess that this should probably start with an explanation of the title.
szare – grey kluski – noodles Anki – by Anka
or Anka’s grey noodles
Yes, I know, but they really are better than they sound. Grey noodles (they aren’t actually all that grey) are a traditional Polish peasant dish. Anka is a gorgeous wonderful person who makes fantastic kluski (she is Polish, but not a peasant).
So, what we are actually talking about here are noodles made of potato and flour. They differ from other potato noodles, e.g. gnocchi in the fact that the potato is raw when it is noodleised, and in the fact that they don’t contain any egg.
Just potato and flour might not make for the most exciting dish in the world, but these kluski are served with lardons of bacon, onions and sauerkraut.
Notes on ingredients
All of the stories and childhood recollections that I hear of this dish are of home grown and pickled cabbage, and bacon from grandmothers pig. It’s almost enough to make me weep that I’ve missed my chance to try it in that form, but the world has changed.
Slaughtering a pig is messy though, and pickling cabbage is a bit of a trauma if you don’t have to, so this easy modern version does have good points.
There aren’t a lot of ingredients to play with. The potatoes you use should be a starchy variety, and a smoked bacon imparts more flavour than an unsmoked one.
Przepis (the recipe)
For the kluski
- 2kg Potatoes
- 300g Flour
For the rest
- 300g Bacon lardons
- 2 Large onions
Peel the potatoes, and then using a fine grater, grate them all into a large bowl. What you will end up with is a kind of potato pulp. Leave this to stand for 20-30 mins.
By now the potatoes will have given out a lot of water, and seperated into two layers in the bowl, with the potato pulp at the bottom, and the liquid on the top. Pour the liquid off, or ideally strain it through muslin, so that you are left with just the pulp. Don’t drain them too thoroughly, because you need some of the starch in the liquid.
Add the flour, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, mix it together well using a balloon whisk, until you end up with a thick (and not very appetising looking) mass.
Bring a very large pot of salted water to the boil, if you don’t have a huge pot then use two, because the kluski won’t cook properly if they are too crowded together.
Use a spoon to form large noodles from the potato mix and drop them into the boiling water.
Boil them gently for about 5 minutes from the moment they rise to the surface of the water.
Drain the kluski thoroughly.
While the kluski are cooking, peel and finely chop the onion, and fry it together with the lardons in a little sunflower oil.
Mix the bacon/onion mix with the kluski, check and adjust seasoning and serve immediately with sauerkraut.
Make sure that the kluski are well drained, and then fry them in a little sunflower oil, adding the bacon/onion at the last minute.
Serve hot with sauerkraut.