Belarusian Mushroom Stuffed Draniki, Machanka and Blinéyk
Oh my gosh, this one was so good!
I made this meal for Jennifer, Andy and myself on Tuesday, October 20. The national dish of Belarus is latkes. Draniki is a version of potato pancakes. I found the other recipes in a search for a delicious latke recipe. I think that this meal might be my favorite; Andy said it was in his top five, and Jenn loved it too.
The dranikis were a ton of work. In total, they took 4-5 hours to prepare. Although 3 hours of that was soaking mushrooms, it is still a pretty involved process. The potatoes are a pain to shred, and I had to fry the draniki one at a time because of the size of pans that I have. Almost as soon as potatoes are shredded, they turn orangish-brown. But don't be alarmed by this, because, strangely, as soon as they hit the pan, that orange color goes away, and they become regular potato color. Andy and Jenn really liked the dranikis; I thought they were good, but not great. This might have been because of the amount of time it took me to make them, and also because of the amount of oil that I saw them absorb. If I were to cook this meal again, I'd probably leave the draniki out, simply because they were time consuming.
The machanka was very simple to make and incredibly palatable. The pork was tender and succulent from being simmered in the beef stock. I could also taste the butter that the pork was browned in. The sour cream sauce was rich, but not too heavy. It complemented the pork perfectly. I could not get enough of this stew. I could eat this meal every single day.
We used the blinéyk like tortillas, filling them with the machanka. These delicate pancakes are buttery and sweet. They were also very easy to make. While making the batter, don't be concerned by how thin it is; it is supposed to be that way. These crêpe-like blinéyks would be good filled with other meats, as well as berries, or simply topped with powdered sugar, jam, butter, or brown sugar.
In writing about this meal, I'm sad that I sent the small amount of leftovers home with Andy! I want to eat it all over again.
Without further ado, here are the recipes, clarified from the originals:
Mushroom Stuffed Draniki Ingredients:- 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms (I used chanterelle) - 1 onion, finely sliced - salt - 4 baking potatoes - 2 tsp. flour - 1 egg - salt and pepper - oil for frying (I used vegetable)
Directions: 1) Soak mushrooms in cold water 3-4 hours. 2) Pour water with mushrooms into a saucepan and boil for one hour. Remove mushrooms from stock and mince finely. Reserve 1/2 c. stock. 3) Meanwhile, fry onion in a little oil (I used canola) until caramelized. 4) Add mined mushrooms and 1/2 c. stock to onion and mix well. 5) Peel and shred the potatoes and wring them out. 6) Add flour, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix. 7) Shape the potato mixture into small balls, flatten with your hand, put a little bit of the mushroom mixture on top, and cover with more potato mixture. Flatten into patties. 8) Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat). 9) Place in over for a few minutes and serve.
Blinéyk Ingredients: - 1 c. flour - 1 egg - 1 tsp. sugar - a pinch of salt - 2 c. milk - 4 T. butter
Directions: 1) Blend flour, egg, sugar, salt and 1 c. milk until even. 2) Add remaining milk and blend well. 3) Heat up a small griddle over medium heat and grease with a spat of butter. 4) Pour 1/4 c. of pancake mixture on griddle and cook until the edges of the pancake start to turn inward. Flip and cook until done (about 2 minutes per side).
Ingredients:- 1 lb. pork (I used sirloin), cut into bite-sized pieces - 2 T. butter - 1 c. + 2 T. beef stock - 1 onion, chopped - 1 T. flour - 1 c. sour cream - 2 bay leaves - salt to taste
Directions: 1) Melt butter in a saucepan and brown pork. 2) Meanwhile, sauté onion in a bit of oil (I used canola). 3) Add 1 c. stock, bay leaves, onion and salt to pork. Cook over medium to medium high heat for about 20 minutes. 4) Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, sauté the flour for a couple of minutes. Add 2 T. beef stock and mix well. 5) Add sour cream and salt (to taste) to flour mixture. Mix well and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes. 6) Heat oven to 350 degrees. 7) Put pork mixture in a baking dish, cover with sour cream sauce, and bake in oven for about 20 minutes. 8) Serve with blinéyk.