> Lemon and Strawberries: Polish steamed dumplings (Pampuchy) with pork stew and beetroot salad

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Polish steamed dumplings (Pampuchy) with pork stew and beetroot salad

Sometimes I really miss some Polish dishes and today was one of these days. Pampuchy are a type of yeast based dumplings, that are very popular in Poland. Depending on a region one can find them served as savory or sweet dish. I remember eating them in two versions - sweet with sauce made from fruits and cream and with stew, as in my recipe.
Also it's the first time in my life I made pampuchy from a scratch! When I lived in Poland we used to buy them precooked to save time. I must say - homemade are much better! They're really soft and fluffy and will go well with almost any type of sauce or even just with some fried onions on top. I also heard of them being stuffed with meat, groats or fruits, but never had them in such version.

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 dumplings): 
  • 500g flour
  • 1 glass warm milk
  • 3tbs melted butter
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3tbs sugar
Dissolve yeast in warm milk, add few spoons of flour and sugar. Set aside in a warm place to get yeast to work. The rest of flour combine with eggs and add yeast mixture when it's ready (it will become a little bit foamy). Knead your dough for few minutes (you can use a mixer with hook-like tip), add salt and melted butter. Continue kneading until all of the ingredients are well combined, the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to your fingers.
Then cover it with a cloth and set aside in a warm place to grow for about 30 minutes or until it doubles its size. 

While waiting for your dough, prepare the stew:

  • 900g pork shoulder
  • 1 big onion
  • 750ml water
  • 2-3tsp lovage
  • 1tbs vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • oil for frying
  • 2tbs flour 
  • 1tbs butter
  • 2tsp finely chopped dill
Remove fatty and hard parts from the meat and cut it into small cubes. Put meat in a bowl, sprinkle with lovage, salt, pepper, add vinegar and toss it around to get spices everywhere.  

Preheat oil on a pan, add meat and fry for about 10 minutes. Move meat into a pot. Chop the onion and fry it on the same pan you used for the meat for about 5 minutes, Add to the pot with meat.
Pour water, add some extra salt & pepper and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes (until the meat is really soft). 
On a small pan melt 1tbs of butter, add flour and fry for few minutes - this will be used to make our stew thicker. Put it in a bowl and mix with some of the liquid from a pot with meat to avoid creating lumps of flour. Pour the mixture into a pot with meat, stir it well and take off the heat after few minutes. In the end add fresh finely chopped dill.

Now, back to our dumplings!
We're going to steam them, so you'll need either a special pot for steam-cooking, or if you don't have it - metal strainer that fits in a big pot. Or you can do what I did and use a cotton cloth tied around the pot. Heat up water in a big pot - whatever method you're using, make sure strainer/cloth doesn't touch the water level.
Form round dumplings - about a size of an orange and put them on a surface sprinkled with some flour to prevent sticking. Cover them with a cloth and let them grow a little bit. 

Then start steaming them - place few dumplings on a cloth, cover them and cook for about 10 minutes. They will grow more while being steamed, so make sure to leave some space between them.

Carefully lift them with a fork and set aside. They're ready!
You can serve them immediately, or cut them in slices, as I did. Put them on a plate and pour some stew on top.
Pampuchy with pork stew will taste great with many types of salad, but this time I've decided to pair them with a classic Polish beetroot salad - delicious combination!


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