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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
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine and refrigerate for 3 days, serve with eggs and cold
Royal Mazurkas (Mazurek
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
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.