Uszka – wild mushroom and sauerkraut ‘little ears’

Uszka – wild mushroom and sauerkraut ‘little ears’

By
From
Polska
Serves
4
Prep
120 mins
Photographer
Laura Edwards

The Polish dumpling has become a symbol of our entire cuisine, and I must concede that there appears to be a dumpling for every occasion in this country. This is the Christmas dumpling. We eat these ‘little ears’ in a clear borscht. You can buy this borscht from a Polish shop or make it yourself.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
400g plain flour
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt
125-150ml warm water
splash rapeseed oil

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
10-20 dried mushrooms, chopped
150g see method for ingredients, drained
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon allspice berries
splash wine (red or white), optional
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 small onions, finely chopped
or 1 large onion, finely chopped
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste

Method

  1. First make the filling. Rinse the dried mushrooms under cold water and soak them in boiling water for 2 hours, preferably, overnight. Place the rehydrated mushrooms in a pan with about 2.5 cm of water over the top and cook over a medium heat for about 45 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, bay leaf and allspice and simmer for a further 45 minutes. Add a splash of wine if the mixture gets too dry at any time, but don’t overdo it – there should not be any surplus liquid near the end.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough. Place the flour, egg yolks, butter and salt in a large bowl. Add the warm water, a little at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Knead it for about 20 minutes until soft and smooth. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature for a further 20 minutes. (This step is not absolutely necessary but it does increase its elasticity, so is worth doing while your mushroom and sauerkraut mixture cooks.)
  3. To finish the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Remove the bay leaf from the sauerkraut and mushroom pan and blend the filling to a rough paste in a food processor, then add it to the onion and fry for just 5 minutes, stirring together until combined. Allow the filling to cool while you roll the dough out on a floured surface, as thin as you can get it. Follow the uszka diagram to shape the ‘little ears’.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Drop the uszka gently into the water. Once they float to the top, cook for a further 3 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon.
  6. Serve in a bowl of borscht or clear vegetarian borscht.
Tags:
polish
eastern european
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