Pride of Poland

22 January 2016

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I AM still exploring A Village Cookbook, a fund-raiser for St Wulfran’s, Ovingdean (Cookery, 18/25 December). Bernadette Skinner contributed a recipe in memory of her father, a Polish airman, who died when she was 19. It is Bigosthe Polish national dish. You are urged to adapt the measures to your taste.

 

30g (1 oz) butter

1 dessertspoon flour

2 sliced onions

450g (1 lb) rinsed sauerkraut

2 handfuls shredded cabbage

1 grated carrot

chopped or dried mushrooms

½ chopped apple

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

paprika to taste

1 glass white wine

1 squirt of tomato sauce

cold leftover meat or Polish

sausage (but not lamb)

 

In a large casserole pot, first make the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour, stirring to make a paste. Add the onions, and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook gently for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients, except the meats, and cook to combine them for about half an hour. Add more pepper and paprika if necessary. Now add the meats, and cook gently. There should be little liquid present so stir every now and again. Cook for at least an hour to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

I would serve this straight away, and always follow the usual advice never to reheat meat twice. But Bernadette says: "You can leave it in a low oven for as long as you want, or reheat it. In fact, the more you reheat it, the tastier it becomes."

I also love this Croustade of mushrooms from Pat Zielinska. The croustade is a welcome and nutritious change from pastry.

 

For the croustade:

100g (4 oz) soft breadcrumbs

100g (4 oz) ground almonds

50g (2 oz) butter

50g (2 oz) chopped hazelnuts

1-2 cloves garlic

3-4 teaspoons mixed herbs

 

For the filling:

450g (1 lb) mushrooms, sliced

50g (2 oz) butter

2 heaped tablespoons flour

500ml (1 pt) whole milk

salt and pepper

 

Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Mix the breadcrumbs and ground almonds, and rub in the butter. Add the hazelnuts, garlic, and herbs, and mix well. Press firmly into a shallow baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in the butter in a large pan until tender. Add the flour and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until it froths. Remove from the heat, and add the milk, stirring all the time. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring. The sauce will be very thick. Add salt and pepper, and spoon the sauce evenly over the croustade. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.

 

To get the book, phone Shirley Ross on 01273 301075, or email shirleyannross@googlemail.com.

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