April helping with the cooking

About to enjoy the bigos

Tentatively tasting the bigos

Enjoying her forth pierniczki!!

Sampling the non-polish wine

Week 5 - Poland

Week 5 of our 192 Countries for Dinner challenge/entertainment and Poland was pulled from the tin. With traditional recipes for the main course being mainly meat and cabbage based, I was quietly confident of a relatively easy cook with easy to source ingredients this week....I wasn't exactly correct!


Homemade Polish Pierogies

The Starter - Homemade Polish Pierogies

This week I decided that as the main course was relatively easy to make, I'd go with a three course meal.


To start off we had Pierogies - which were rather similar to Equadors empanadas from last week.



The recipe for these is here



Cooks notes - I followed the recipe exactly yet ended up with lots of left over filling so I'd recommending halving the quantity of the filling ingredients to avoid waste. We followed the serving suggestion and ate these with sour cream.


The Verdict
So this week we decided to rate each dish instead of the whole meal so here goes:
Harrison - 5.5/10 - the outside was OK but I didn't like the cheese filling.
April - 1/10 - I don't like them, they are too eggy
Paul - 6/10 - they tasted quite bland

Danie - 5/10 - weird texture like slimey pasta with not enough flavour to be worth the cooking effort.


The beginnings of bigos

The Main Course - The Best Polish Bigos

So after looking on a few websites, it seemed that most traditional main courses were a stew-like dishes of some sort. I found the 'best' bigos recipe and decided to use that one.


The 'Best' recipe can be found here


Cooks notes - as the recipe was for 8 servings, I reduced the recipe by 50% however I still have enough to feed us for several meals. Having just purchased my new slow cooker, I decided to use that to make this dish so I popped all the ingredients into th slow cooked before doing the morning school run and our bigos was ready without intervention (except a couple of stirs) by tea-time.

I served ours with simple boiled potatos served with lashings of butter - yum!


The Verdict
Harrison - 7/10 - he loved the potatoes and the stew was OK but he didn't like the texture of the slow cooked pork.

April - 2/10 - didn't like the stew - it tasted weird.

Paul - 8.5/10 - the stew had a nice flavour and the meats were good together.

Danie 8/10 - liked the flavours and will make this dish again.


With lots left, we'll be having it again later this week. According to the recipe, it's better a few days old so we'll let you know on our facebook page.


The Dessert - Pierniczki

So expecting to easily find ingredients for this week's meal, I was a little stumped the day before the cook-off having not been able to find poppy seeds for my Makowiec Polish Poppy Seed Roll...which I was very much looking forward too.


So looking at alternatives, I was quite tempted by a traditional apple cake but lacked the apples to make it unless I went to the supermarket again so opted instead for pierniczki which are Polish christmas cookies as I had all the ingredients already in my pantry (phew!) - I also thought it would be a great way to involve the kids - turned out only April was interested though.


Pierniczki cookie recipe


Cooks notes:
This recipe made loads so we extras for lunch boxes/snacks during the week. 


The Verdict:

Harrison - 10/10 - they're yummy! - We lost count of how many he ate - at least 4 but probably more like 6!

April - 10/10 - yummy cookie and really awesome to make. Our sweet toothed daughter ate 4 as well as quite a lot of the uncooked dough!

Paul - 7/10 - nice ginger and cinnamon flavours. Would have liked them to be a bit sweeter though.

Danie - 8/10 - nice flavour but definitely would have been better at christmas time...probably teamed with mulled wine!


Great to finally include something that the children loved and we will definitely make these again in the future!





Poppy seed roll recipe