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International Recipe Exchange

 

Traditional Easter Polish Recipes

 submitted by Andrea Erickson

 

 

 

Having been raised with many of the Polish traditions, I have fond memories of the holidays as a child.  Many of the traditions are based on religious beliefs.  Easter is one of the happiest of holidays.  After observing the 40 day penitential season of Lent most everyone is ready for the big feast of Easter!

 

On Easter Saturday, baskets are filled with small amounts of the Easter food items and brought to the church for the priest to bless.  Up until my recent move from a very ethnic area to my country setting, I still participated in the basket blessing tradition.  Our Easter breakfast table consisted of hard cooked and colored eggs, baked ham, sausage, both smoked and fresh (my family preferred the fresh version with garlic and marjoram), rye bread, beet horseradish relish, a traditional butter lamb and the focal piece, the cake in the shape of a lamb, beautifully decorated.  Below are a few of my family’s favorite recipes:

 

Red Beets with Horseradish (Cwikla)

3 cups cooked or canned red beets, drained and chopped

6 oz prepared cream style horseradish (much easier than the fresh grated that I remember my Grandmother making, bringing tears to her eyes!)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt

Combine and refrigerate for 3 days, serve with eggs and cold meats.

 

Royal Mazurkas  (Mazurek Krolewski)

1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

6 egg yolks

¼ cup ground or finely chopped blanched almonds

1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel

Combine flour, sugar and salt.  Cream butter in a large bowl.  Alternately mix in each egg yolk and dry ingredients until well combined.  Stir in almonds and lemon peel. 

Roll or pat dough to fit into a 15 x 10 inch greased jelly roll pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden but not browned.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, cut into fourths and remove from pan, but each fourth into 2 inch squares.

 

Easter Monday is traditional for using the leftover meats to make Bigos or Hunter’s Stew. 

Hunter’s Stew  (Bigos)

3 pounds leftover meats diced (beef, ham, pork, lamb, sausage, venison etc) 

3 ounces salt pork, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 leek, chopped (optional)

1 tablespoon flour

½ pound fresh mushrooms sliced, or 2 small cans sliced mushrooms (do not drain)

1-1/2 cup chicken or beef broth

3 pounds sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup Madeira

 

Fry salt pork until golden but not crisp.  Add onion and leek and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Add mushrooms and broth, simmer 5 minutes.

 

Add drained and rinsed sauerkraut, the cooked meats, salt pepper and sugar.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for 1-1/2 hours.

Stir in wine and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

 

 

 

Wesolego Alleluja!