Tuesday 30/8/2005

Back to noshblog site (click here)

Diary and Notes

If only my old commie mother had bought a copy of the Polish Kitchen by Mary Pininska then we might have eaten this when we were but dirt covered guttersnipes, trawling through the bins of Swindon, in search of scraps to sell at the Brunel market - but of course she didn't and even if she had then we probably wouldn't have anyway - plus the recipe for today's nosh isn't really in the book at all, but it is where I got the idea.

Polish food is highly underrated in the West, much of it is really quite excellent. One of my favourite dishes of all time is Polish (Bigos - which I might make at a later date) and on the whole I think the Poles must eat pretty well. If it wasn't for that renegade Lech Walesa and his counter revolutionary movement inciting dissent and setting the wheels in motion to bring down my mother's beloved Soviet Union twenty five years ago, then they might have invaded and we'd all be eating food like this today - it would be a damned sight better than hamburgers and fries every day I assure you.

So, in honour of the 25th anniversary of Solidarity being recognised (though a day late it should have been the 31st August), and as a big thank you to the shipworkers of Gdansk who brought down the tyrants of Europe - some of them at least - I made some traditional Polish food today and even went so far as to make a cake as well.

The preparation actually began on the anniversary, as this meal, along with quite a bit of Polish food, requires some preparation, in this case marinading the lamb for 24 hours to give it a soft texture and smooth flavour - really quite good indeed.

If Lech ever comes over for dinner (and my Nosh-Blog has finished) I'll make him this and see what he says, although I think I might have to crack open a bottle of vodka or two as well.

Na zdrowie!

Cake Blog

Polish Orange Tart


  • Polish Lamb with Mushroom Sauce
  • Potato and Parsnip Cakes
  • Chopped Pickled Cucumbers

  • Polish Orange Tart


    Polish Lamb with Mushrooms
    1 Large Lamb Fillet (800g)
    200ml Malt Vinegar
    3 Bay Leaves
    1 tsp Peppercorns
    1 tsp Coriander Seeds
    1 tsp Vegetable Oil
    Clove Garlic
    500g Mushrooms
    250ml Sour Cream
    Small Bunch Dill
    1 tsp Mustard
    Salt and Pepper
    Potato and Parsnip Cakes
    4 Medium Potatoes
    2 Parsnips
    1 Onion
    Oil for Frying
    Salt and Pepper
    Polish Orange Tart
    250g Plain Flour
    125g Butter
    1 Egg
    100g Sugar
    50g Ground Almonds
    25g Flaked Almonds
    2 Oranges
    ½ Lemon


  • Lamb: Make a marinade for the lamb from 500ml boiling water, the vinegar, pepeprcorns, coriander and bay leaves. Pour the hot marinade over the lamb, cover and chill overnight. When ready to cook, drain and pat dry. Sear the lamb all over then add a drop of oil and some minced garlic and turn the heat down low. Steam in its own juice until really tender (about an hour). Add the chopped mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked remove the lamb and mushrooms and stir the sour cream, mustard and dill into any liquid in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Potaot and Parsnip Cakes: Grate the potatoes and rinse really well. Allow to drain. Grate the parsnip and onion and mix with the potato along with a little salt and pepper. Fry in a little oil, mixing every minute or so until everything is soft and cooked. Spoon the mix into ramekins and pat in tightly. Turn the cakes out into the frying pan and fry again until crispy on both sides.
  • Tart: First make the filling. Deseed the oranges and lemon then liquidize with 50ml of water. Place into a pan with 75g sugar and 1/2 the ground almond and simmer gently until it becomes really thick (about an hour). Make the pastry - rub the butter into the flour, then add 25g ground almong, 25g sugar, and egg and a little cold water to bind. Bake blind for 20 minutes. When cooked pour on the cooled orange filling, sprinkle with flaked almonds and chill.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for three people