Posts Tagged With: Belarus

Machanka

Belarusian Entree

MACHANKA

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pork shoulder or loin
1 pound Polish or pork sausages
1 medium onion
2½ tablespoons lard or butter
1¼ cups pork stock or beef stock
5 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
1 cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Cut Polish sausages into 1″ slices. Dice onion. Add pork cubes and lard to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until pork cubes start to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove pork cubes and drain on paper towel. Keep lard in pan.

Add pork stock and flour to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add onion and Polish sausage to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add pork stock/flour mix, pork shoulder cubes, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer at warm-low heat for 1 hour or until pork cubes are tender. Stir enough to keep sauce from burning. Add sour cream, pepper, and salt. Cover and simmer at warm-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir enough to keep sauce from burning. Remove bay leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is made with pork shoulder. It is called Machanka. The speed of sound, 767 miles per hour was, at first, also called Machanka. How was this speed measured? By having someone yell “Machanka” and then measuring the speed of an air molecule issuing from the yeller’s mouth. This technique did not work well. Air molecules are transparent, making them impossible to track.

2) Thank goodness for the scientists at the Pork Shoulder Catapulting Institute (PSCI) in Minsk. The PSCI dates back to the liberation of Belarus from the Mongols in 1373 when Sergey Daškievic, realized that frozen pork shoulders catapulted at Mongol armies completely disrupted their cavalry.

3) In 1962 the United States Air Force needed to know Machanka so it could build wings strong enough to withstand that speed. Naturally, it turned to the PSCI. The Institute’s scientist yelled “Machanka” at a starving artist at the same time a pork shoulder was catapulted. After many trials, the word “Machanka” arrived at the same time as the pork shoulder. The speed of sound was then calculated as (pork shoulder distance/ air time.) Over time Machanka was shortened to Mach 1.

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Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Draniki (Potato Pancakes from Belarus)

Belarus Entree

DRANIKI
(potato pancakes)

INGREDIENTSDraniki-

1 small onion
6 medium brown potatoes
1 egg
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
up to 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
6 teaspoons dill (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Food processor

Makes 12 draniki. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Peel potatoes. Use the side of a grater with the tiny raised holes to grate potatoes as fine and liquidy as possible. Oh gosh, don’t do it this all; it’s hell. Preserve your sanity, use food processor to mince potatoes to teeny, tiny bits.

Add potato, onion, egg, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend well with whisk. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Oil is ready when a tiny potato bit will dance around in the oil. Add 1/12th, about ¼ cup, of potato/onion mixture to pan. Sauté with medium-high heat for 1½ minutes or until bottom of pancake is golden brown. (Lift pancake with spatula to see. X-ray vision works tool.) Flip pancake and sauté for another 1½ minutes or until the new bottom side is golden brown as well.

Repeat for each draniki, potato pancake. Add vegetable oil as needed. If desired, top each draniki with ½ tablespoon sour cream and/or ½ teaspoon dill.

TIDBITS

1) There are probably millions upon millions of people who would go to church more often if its ceremonies were, well, more exciting. If you belong to this group, why not head to Belarus for its Ivan Kupala festival? If your heart races at the sight of fireworks and the opportunity to leap over roaring fires, then this is the ceremony for you. It used to be a pagan festival, but it was taken over by church leaders and converted to a celebration of John the Baptist. It’s on July 6. See you there.

2) By the way, if you’re in line for confession, don’t bother offering to switch sins with the people around you. They will invariably look at you askance and edge away.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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