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Cuisine PL

A BOUT How do you pickle cucumbers? What can you make with a salted herring? How do you bake beetroot? What is poppy seed? What Polish regional potato dishes are there? This book has the answers. It presents the richness of Polish cuisine through foodstuffs widely used in Poland for centuries. To show how to break away from the stereotypical view of Polish cuisine, reduced to pierogi and schnitzel, we show how to serve extraordinary Polish dishes in a contemporary way – light, beautiful and tasty. The chefs invited to join in this project are Poland's most talented cooks, who study and rediscover traditions, reach for forgotten foodstuffs and present them in a creative, modern way. Memories of the "milk bar" (cheap, fast, self-service eating place with a non-refined menu, typical in Polish cities before 1989) blend with the taste of home cooking and the most exquisite haute cuisine. For ambitious kitchen maestros, fresh, seasonal ingredients are crucial. They try to squeeze the entire unique taste out. Some chefs use molecular techniques – they transform familiar dishes in surprising ways using new technologies, creating new flavours and forms. On the other hand, the book aims to preserve Poland’s culinary heritage by supporting small producers who make local specialities and reviving Polish culinary and craft traditions. The presentation of regional and traditional foods is connected with bringing family, local and regional traditions closer. We show what distinguishes Poles and their cuisine from others, and how to weave Polish traditions into the culinary culture of other nations. In other words – we present ambitious culinary variations on Polish themes, which can be created in the average kitchen, by even beginner cooks. We invite you to play with flavours, discover Poland through its specialities, and include these in your culinary repertoire. Bon appetit!

Pickled cucumber Strawberry Oscypek Apple Mead Poppy seed Sauerkraut Herring Beetroot Game meat Groats Cod Duck Lamb Quark Potato

Wojciech Modest Amaro Chef of Atelier Amaro in Warsaw.

PICKLED CUCUMBER Good pickled cucumbers are hard, crisp, firm and intensely sour. They should not have holes or be swollen. They contain lactic acid, which improves digestion, and preserves and reconstructs healthy intestinal microflora. Cucumbers are best pickled in a stone vessel. Once, oak barrels were used and kept cool – in cellars or in swift-flowing rivers. To pickle cucumbers well, you need good quality vegetables, preferably from your own garden, good water, salt, garlic, horseradish, bay leaves, and dill. The simplest method of pickling is to lay the cucumbers and spices layer by layer. To ensure that the pickles are still good in winter, the cucumbers should be pickled before the end of their season – late August or early September – when they are not yet stained or deformed. Poles eat pickled cucumbers for dinner as a side dish, e.g. with buckwheat groats and goulash. Pickles are also traditional appetisers eaten with herring in oil and onion, and with vodka. Pickles can be a soup base. Their intensive flavour improves the taste of salads, e.g. vegetable or smoked mackerel salad. Pickles can also be found in exquisite dishes. Karol Okrasa (Platter/Warszawa) serves grilled zrazy (thin slices of chopped beef ) prepared with seasoned meat, dried bacon, and pickled cucumbers cut in slivers, served with green lentils with chanterelles, sprinkled with marjoram sauce, and seasoned with fresh horseradish. Wojciech Modest Amaro, a chef who eagerly experiments with contemporary gastronomic techniques, prepares foam from pickled cucumbers, agar jelly and pickle water. Although he finds cucumber soup on oxtails best, he also recommends a variant with fish.

Cucumber soup with fish •  1.5-2 l fish consommé prepared with 400 g white fish fillet (sole, halibut, cod)

•  4 sprigs parsley •  3 sprigs fresh marjoram

•  2 medium-sized carrots

•  2 bay leaves

•  2 leeks (white parts)

•  3 grains allspice

•  5 shallots

•  juice of ½ lemon

•  1-2 cloves garlic

•  5 nice, hard pickled cucumbers (peeled)

•  2 ribs Pascal celery [peeled]

•  1 fresh trellis cucumber

•  3 medium-sized new potatoes

•  150 ml whipping cream

•  1 bunch fresh dill

•  salt, black pepper

Fry the chopped shallots and garlic in hot olive oil until they turn translucent. Add chopped leeks, celery and carrot and stew for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour fish consommé, lemon juice and bring to the boil. Skim the soup, and add the allspice, bay leaves and sprigs of parsley and marjoram, all tied up together. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, and then add the peeled and grated pickled cucumbers. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Set the soup aside to cool down, and remove the spices. Peel the trellis cucumber, remove the pips and grate. Sprinkle with salt, season with black pepper and mix with cream. 10 minutes before serving the soup, cut the fish fillet into small portions, season with salt, cover with chopped dill and put into soup plates. Boil the soup. Pour 200 ml into a separate vessel, and stir with cream mixed with grated cucumber. Then pour the cream back into the pot, boil and pour into the dishes. Decorate with pickle foam and borage flowers. Pickle foam •  200 ml water from pickled cucumbers

•  1.2 g soy lecithin

Blend the ingredients. Wait 30 seconds until the foam sets, and place on top of the soup. 2


Jean Bos Certified chef, French living in Poland, founder of the Academy of Molecular Cuisine.

STRAWBERRY Poland is the world’s seventh largest producer of strawberries. Many varieties are cultivated, including Polish ones such as Kama, with very tasty berries, and Dukat, with evenly coloured berries which travel very well. A novelty in Poland is the French Darselect – a typical dessert variety, with large, juicy berries. We all like big, red, heartshaped strawberries – completely irresistible. Strawberries contain a lot of vitamin C (60 milligrams in 100 g; a lemon has 50 mg) as well as vitamins B1, B2, A, almost all macro and microelements, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. These berries are low in calories – a kilogram has only 400 kcal. They should be eaten on an empty stomach as they cleanse and detoxify the body. Strawberries are always delicious whether sprinkled with sugar and decorated with a dash of cream, with champagne, or in refined dishes – with spices. E.g. strawberries with pepper can complement a beef sirloin or a summer salad with spinach and gorgonzola. Strawberries can be combined with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil and chilli. In Poland they are traditionally used to make filling for pierogi, or kompot (drink made of fruit boiled in water with sugar). They are irreplaceable in a range of desserts, e.g. sponge cake with jelly and milk shakes. Strawberry preserves – conserves, jams, mousses – are widely loved. Their sweet-sour flavour goes perfectly with pancakes or fresh buns and croissants. Strawberry conserve may be used to make a sauce for duck if you add a bit of balsamic vinegar and pepper. Strawberry lovers can go strawberry picking in Kashubia, at the foot of Złota Góra, in late June or early July every year. The Strawberry Feast is accompanied by a festival, parties and concerts.


Strawberry gazpacho with yogurt •  500 g (Polish) strawberries

•  chilli oil

•  250 ml still mineral water

•  champagne

•  olive oil

•  50ml yogurt

•  1 sprig rosemary

•  30 ml cream

•  1 sprig thyme

•  1 tsp sugar

•  2 tsp sugar

•  juice from ¼ lime

•  1 lime

•  0.5 g xanthan (food thickening agent)

Dice one fifth of the strawberries. Blend three fifths of the strawberries with water. Deep fry the thyme and pick the leaves. Blend them with the sugar and strawberry puree, then add the lime juice and chilli oil. Finally, add the champagne and water. Mix yogurt, cream, xanthan, sugar and lime juice. Put the diced strawberries into a glass, pour the yogurt over, add the strawberry puree, and decorate with rosemary.


Adam Chrząstowski Chef of Ancora restaurants in Kraków

Oscypek (plural: oscypki) Salty sheep's milk cheese made in the Tatra mountains region (Podhale). The production of oscypki is the task of the head shepherd (baca) pasturing ewes. About 40 thousand sheep graze in Podhale. One flock comprises around 600 animals. Every sheep must be milked three times a day. It takes 6 hours work by several more junior shepherds (juhas) to do so. The pastoral culture is gradually disappearing, since selling sheepskin and wool has become unprofitable. It is hard work, performed exclusively by hand, requiring precision, skill and experience. The name oscypek is reserved for cheese made of sheep's milk (with the possible addition of Polish red cows' milk, up to 40%), produced in mountain huts (bacówka) in selected communities in Lesser Poland and Silesia. Oscypki must be spindle-shaped, weigh 600800 g and measure 17-23 cm. The cheeses are hung in mountains huts, below the ceiling, so the smoke from the hearth can reach them. Oscypek is smoked for a period of between 3 days and 2 weeks. It is worth mentioning that only head shepherds (baca) have earned the right to sell oscypki. This cheese is recommended by the Slow Food organisation. Since 2008 the recipe has been protected by the European Union. Oscypek can be served cold (usually with cranberries) or grilled. In mountain huts, bunc is also made – it’s fresh cheese made of sheep's milk, as is bryndza – containing rennet.


Flakes of oscypek with caramelised beetroot and salsa •  400 g oscypek

•  ¼ tbsp spicy paprika

•  200 g beetroot baked in aluminium foil

•  6 cloves marinated garlic

•  50 g skinned hazelnuts

•  salt

•  50 g walnuts •  100 g brown sugar •  2 spring onions with chives •  3 tbsp apple vinegar •  2 tbsp grated marjoram

Cut the oscypek into thin slices. Peel the beetroot and cut into small cubes. Caramelise half the sugar in a pan and fry the beetroot cubes in it. Add the marjoram, vinegar and pepper. Leave to cool. Cut the nuts into halves. Caramelise the other half of the sugar in the pan. Add the nuts, stir, and lay on a tray to cool. Mix the nuts with the beetroot, add the chopped garlic cloves and spring onions. Season with salt. Pour the mixture on the slices of oscypek and sprinkle with finely chopped chives.


Urszula Czyżewska Chef of Piotrkowska 97 restaurant in Łódź.

APPLE The most important fruit – alongside pears, plums, cherries – in Poland. Apples can be divided into dessert varieties, grown for eating raw, and those for making preserves. Some can be used both ways. In contemporary orchards a dozen types, known globally, are usually grown. In Poland, before the Second World War, over 50 types of local apple were grown. Thanks to diversification, they were picked over the whole season. The Papierówka variety fruited in early summer, Sierpniówka in late summer, and Antonówka in autumn. Some apples could survive the whole winter in a ‘clamp’, and they were a precious source of vitamins in the pre-harvest period. In Poland there is a saying that "Granddad plants the best orchard", since 40-50 year-old apple trees give the best fruit. Among old varieties of apple trees, some are still popular. Among others: Papierówka, with a pale yellow skin, Golden Russet – sour with a spicy aftertaste, and Kosztela, with a green skin and very sweet flesh, great to eat raw. In Chrystkow, Kujavian-Pomeranian Province, there is a collection of old Polish local apple tree varieties from the Lower Vistula Valley region. Apples are the basis of many cakes, e.g. apple pie – fruit tart on shortcrust pastry. Apple mousses, jams and kompot (a refreshing drink made of fruit boiled in water with sugar) are popular as well. Apples go well with poultry, too. They are a traditional addition to roast duck. Stewed apple accompanies fried chicken livers, or kaszanka (Polish blood sausage made of meat, offal, blood and groats). Apple can be an ingredient in salads, e.g. with goat’s cheese and cranberry. Racuszki – little sweet pies with apples are also a popular Polish dish. Thanks to molecular cuisine techniques, a  fruit may be transformed into caviar – jelly balls, or spherical ravioli – capsules with the apple flavour trapped inside. A waiter pours hot, smooth celery cream on the caviar and ravioli, intricately arranged on a plate. Polish flavours turned upside down are also delicious! 8

Apples in white wine •  4 big apples (Belle de Boskoop) •  500 ml dry white wine •  100 g brown sugar •  40 g butter •  cinnamon •  4 scoops plain ice cream •  fresh mint

Wash and peel the apples, cut into parts. Pour the wine into a pan; add the sugar, butter, cinnamon and apple. Stew the fruit until tender. Place on a big plate. Serve with ice cream and mint.


Marcin Filipkiewicz Chef in Copernicus Hotel in Kraków.

MEAD One of the oldest Polish alcoholic beverages; known even before Christianisation. To produce a good quality mead, you need honey, yeast, water, herbs and... time. Meads acquire outstanding taste after several years of aging. Mead is an alcohol produced by fermenting wort – here a solution of honey and water. The best mead is półtorak. The name derives from the Polish półora (one and a half ), since it is made in proportions of one part honey to a half part water. This mead matures for about 10 years. Dwójniak consists of one part honey to one part water, and is known as royal mead. Trójniak and czwórniak are weaker, and need less time to mature. Meads produced by natural methods are worth seeking out. Examples are the meads made by Maciej Jaros from Łazisko near Tomaszów Mazowiecki, recommended by Slow Food, an international non-profit organisation protecting culinary heritage and supporting small regional producers of traditional foods. In cookery, mead is usually used for desserts, e.g. to soak raisins for stuffing baked apples, or for drizzling on ice cream. It can be also used for seasoning meat with fruit. Adam Chrząstowski (Ancora Restaurant, Cracow) adds czwórniak to fried veal liver with a dried pear. Mead tastes great on its own after a generous meal, served in a cognac glass. In winter it can be drunk hot with spices and wild flower honey, in a thick mug.


Frozen nut nougat with Sandomierskie apples •  5 Sandomierskie apples •  100 g walnuts •  70 g sugar •  3 eggs •  40 ml mead •  10 g caster sugar •  150 ml double cream

Place 50 g of sugar in a pan and heat until it turns into amber-coloured caramel. Then add walnuts, and move them around to coat them evenly with caramel. Pour on a wooden chopping block and wait until they cool down. When cold, chop them with a big knife. Whip the cream and leave in the fridge. While the cream is chilling, separate egg whites and yolks. Beat the yolks with sugar and whisk the whites with the remaining sugar. Then gently mix all the ingredients (cream, egg whites, yolks, and walnuts) until they make a smooth mass. Drizzle with mead. Spoon the dessert into moulds and freeze.


Artur Grajber Chef in the Sheraton Hotel restaurant in Warsaw, culinary coordinator of Warsaw hotels from Starwood Group.

POPPY SEED Fine poppy seeds resemble specks of vanilla. In Poland, buns are sprinkled with poppy seed for flavour and decoration. Poles associate poppy seed with sweetness. Makowiec (poppy seed roll) is the second most important festive cake after gingerbread. The difference between a festive cake and an everyday one lies in the proportions – Christmas cake has thin layers of dough and a thick filling. Groats with poppy seeds and honey, known as kutia, is eaten as a sign of peace in the Christmas period. Kutia is a delicacy of the East – once it was eaten east of the Vistula River. This dessert used to be made of barley – the ‘divine seed’, seasoned with honey – symbolising sweetness, and poppy – bringing peace and rest (since large amounts of poppy seed induce sleep). Poppy seed contains about 60% precious oil. In Poland, poppy seed oil was pressed for use by the royal court during Wladyslaw Jagiello’s reign (15th century). Cold pressed oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which the human body cannot produce. It gives salads a special flavour, and can also be used for baking or adding to cakes. It was also used by painters. White paint with poppy oil does not turn yellow; and so it was widely used in the 19th century. The seed is obtained from poppy pods – decorative heads with caps on long stems.


Kutia •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

120 g wheat 75 g poppy seeds 25 ml buckwheat honey 25 ml linden honey 15 g fresh ginger 40 ml Goldwasser vodka 25 ml orange juice 20 g orange peel (blanched and cleaned)

•  •  •  •  •  •  • 

20 g sugar 30 g hazelnuts 20 g dried figs 20 g dates 30 g raisins (dark and small) 40 ml rum 20 g dried cranberries

Rinse the wheat thoroughly, soak in four times the amount of water for 6 hours and cook on a low heat to soften. Soak the dates in rum a day before the figs and raisins. Cook the milk with honey and very thin strips of peeled ginger on a low heat. Cut the orange peel into long thin strips and caramelize it in sugar with orange juice. Add the cooked ginger. Cook the poppy seed in half of the milk, then grind it, adding buckwheat honey. Add the poppy, chopped dried fruit (dates and figs), raisins and hazelnuts to the wheat. If the cranberries are not dry, add them without soaking. Add the Goldwasser vodka and decorate with orange peel and ginger.


Grzegorz Labuda Chef in Boutique Hotel Platinum Palace in Wrocław.

SAUERKRAUT A typical Polish foodstuff; probably the oldest preserved food. To prolong the storage of vegetables, they were pickled. This process not only preserved them, but also – thanks to lacto-fermentation – gave them germicidal and regenerative properties. Sauerkraut is a rich source of vitamin C. Watered down sauerkraut juice enhances the appetite and has strengthening features. The main ingredient of sauerkraut is white cabbage, especially the Stonehead variety. To pickle a cabbage, the stalk is removed from the head and the leaves are shredded. Traditionally, shredded cabbage was put into wooden barrels, sprinkled with rock salt, and crushed with a wooden baton. The cabbage was often trodden by a member of the household who stepped into the barrel barefoot having washed their feet – as still happens in Italian or Spanish vineyards, where at the start of grape harvesting the juice is squeezed from the grapes with bare feet. Sauerkraut is commonly used in Poland. It’s perfect as a salad with carrot and oil, and it can serve as a filling for pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms; it can be stewed with pork sausage or served fried as a side dish with a pork loin chop. Sauerkraut is also the base for sauerkraut soup, known as kapuśniak. In the Tatras, kwaśnica soup is popular. It is cooked on sauerkraut juice with smoked ribs, goose or mutton. Another traditional Polish dish is bigos – a one-pot meal, cooked for a long time, made of sauerkraut, meat, cuttings of cold meat, sausages, dried plum, raisins, alcohol (e.g. red wine or Madeira), and spices. Bigos tastes best after a few days, having been cooled and reheated.


Sauerkraut soup (kapuśniak) •  1 pig’s trotter •  200 g smoked bacon •  400 g sauerkraut •  40 g dried mushrooms •  1 parsley •  caraway •  salt, pepper •  2 l water

Pour the cold water over the trotter, bacon, parsley and mushrooms and cook for 2 hours. Strain the extract, peel the trotters and sort out the mushrooms. Add chopped sauerkraut to the extract and cook for 30 minutes. Add peeled meat cut into pieces, with bacon, mushrooms, and caraway, and cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Artur Moroz Chef of Bulaj restaurant in Sopot.

HERRINGS Herrings inhabit nearly every sea in the world. Herring is the most commonly fished species, and has been known since ancient times, thanks to the easy storage of the fish if it is salted. In Poland, herring in oil with onion is the most popular appetiser served with (well chilled) vodka. Wojciech Modest Amaro (Atelier Studio/Warszawa) is the author of a recipe for "Herring of the 21st century". This is a piece of marinated fish, painted with edible gold, served with a salad of onion and green Granny Smith apples, chives and grated horseradish, with a drop of plum stone oil. On the top, Amaro puts spherical kopytka (Polish gnocchi) with passiflora and a drop of lemon. He uses avant-garde techniques to present the richness of Polish court cuisine in the most contemporary way. At home, a salted herring should be soaked for 24 hours in water, which should be changed from time to time. The water can be replaced by milk for the last 8 hours. When the herrings are soaked, remove the skin and cut the meat along the backbone with a sharp knifepoint. Carefully take the fillet off, first from one side, and then from the other. Herrings can be covered in oil, or served in pieces with cream and onion. Blended herring, onion and apples makes a delicious spread on wholemeal bread. A typical Polish combination is herring with linseed oil, produced by traditional methods – pressed cold from selected varieties of seeds of flax. It should be only used cold; it is not suitable for heating or frying. Only the raw oil contains valuable tocoferols (antioxidants) and up to 60% of Omega-3 acids. To preserve these precious nutrients, the temperature for storing linseed oil should not exceed 10°C.


Herrings with ceps served on potato salad •  0.5 kg herring fillets •  0.25 kg frozen ceps •  0.5 kg potatoes •  2 red onions •  1 clove garlic •  capers, cherry tomatoes (for decoration) •  salt, pepper, oil, olive oil, parsley tops, thyme

Defrost the ceps and fry in olive oil with chopped onion. Add a clove of garlic, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cool down the fried ceps and mix with herrings cut into pieces. Cook jacket potatoes. Cool down, mix with red onion, season with salt and pepper, add olive oil and chopped parsley tops. Serve with a glass of frozen vodka.


Karol Okrasa Chef of Platter restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw.

BEETROOT Beetroot owes its beautiful red colour to anthocyanins, which improve blood composition and effectively regulate function of the liver and gall bladder. Beetroot should be praised for its ability to strengthen our immune system. Beetroot is a very popular vegetable in Poland. Most frequently it is served cooked, grated and stewed in butter, as a side-dish, with groats and potatoes, chops and roasts. If you want to use beetroot in a more contemporary way – prepare carpaccio. Drizzle olive oil over the beetroot, wrap in aluminium foil and bake at 170°C. Cut into thin slices, drizzle with olive or linseed oil, and add a drop of balsamic vinegar. Slices of baked beetroot go well with goat’s cheese and rocket with raspberry-honey dressing. Artur Grajber (Sheraton/Warszawa) serves sauce made of red beetroot with cherry vodka to accompany pikeperch baked with poppy seed oil. Borscht, a soup made of pickled beetroot, deserves the title of National Polish Soup. The oldest known recipe comes from the 16th century. Borscht can be both a festive and an everyday soup. During the Christmas Eve dinner in Polish homes, Lenten borscht with uszka is served. Uszka are small dumplings filled with onion, fish, and hard-boiled eggs. Borscht may also be eaten with pasties or yeast dumplings. Good quality borscht should be sweet-sour and intensely red. To achieve a nice colour, before serving, pour the soup through a sieve in which a raw, grated beetroot has been placed. In some regions prunes, dried mushrooms, honey or cloves are added to borscht.


Horseradish borscht with cream •  2 l pickled borscht

•  4 tbsp thick soured cream

•  2 red apples – preferably Delikates

•  salt and pepper

•  1 onion

•  1 kg quark

•  1 carrot

•  3 flat tbsp grated horseradish

•  1 parsley root

•  ½ l cream

•  4 tbsp fresh, grated horseradish

•  1 tbsp liquid honey

•  0.5 kg smoked bacon on the bone

•  pinch of salt

•  0.3 kg white pork sausage

•  3 tbsp linseed oil

•  2 bay leaves

•  4 tsp gelatine

•  3 cloves garlic

•  100 ml water

•  1 tbsp dried marjoram

Peel the carrot and parsley and cut lengthwise into quarters. Peel the onion, cut into halves, and fry in a dry pan until golden. Pour cold water over the vegetables and add smoked bacon cut into pieces. Cook for 1.5 hours on a low heat. Take the bacon out and separate from the bone. Divide into smaller pieces and put back into the mixture. Blanch the white sausage in boiling water with bay leaves. Cut into one-centimetre thick slices. Boil the pickled borscht very slowly and strain. Add the beetroot to the mixture and cook until tender. Pour borscht and mixture together, season with chopped garlic and horseradish. Add cream, season with salt and pepper. Serve with chopped white sausage.


Paweł Oszczyk Chef in La Rotisserie, La Regina Hotel in Warsaw.

GAME MEAT Once upon a time in Poland... Autumn delicacies included snipe and fieldfare, black grouse and heather cock, stuffed partridge, hazel grouse, pheasant, and hare, roe and red deer. Hunting was ritualised and integrated the aristocracy and noblemen. It was an occupation of kings, magnates, chivalry and nobility. Processing the game was also of great importance. To tenderise the meat, the roast was wrapped in a tablecloth soaked in vinegar and buried in the ground for a couple of days. Then a fivekilogram leg of bison or deer was put into a huge wood-fired oven overnight. At the wedding of Felicjan Potocki to a daughter of the Lubomirski family, the dishes included 36 fallow deer, 45 roe deer, 24 red deer, 10 moufflon, 4 wild boar, 300 hare, 1000 braces of partridge and hazel grouse, and 100 wild geese and ducks... Today the tradition of eating wild boar or deer is being revived. Some restaurants serve sirloins of red deer in pear and ginger sauce, or wild boar with quince and sloe sauce. Game is difficult. It tastes better when hung. It can be frozen without any harm – the process makes it tender. Marinating and roasting, though, require skill. Game can be put into a seasoning of vegetables and rosemary, stewed with prunes and onion, or marinated in red wine with juniper berries. Game, especially birds, goes well with fruit. Fresh sirloin of red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, or elk can be used to prepare steak tartare – just chop the meat, season it with pepper, oil, red pepper, form a cone with the mixture, make a hollow and mix a raw hen or quail yolk. Juniper vodka and gin greatly complement tartare steak. Goulash hunters' soup and hunters' bigos are traditional Polish dishes, long stewed with various ingredients and spices. Another popular dish is zrazy – minced beef rolled with chopped vegetables – carrot, parsley, celery – pork fat or bacon.


Haunch of roe deer •  480 g haunch of roe deer (sirloin of red deer can be prepared the same way)

•  1 apple •  fresh lovage (or fresh marjoram)

•  2 slices of smoked bacon or wild boar •  120 ml Żubrówka (bison-grass vodka) •  20 g honey •  juniper berries, marjoram, clove of garlic, caraway •  honey mustard

Clean the haunch of membranes. Marinate in vodka, juniper, marjoram, caraway and garlic. Leave for 3-4- hours. Remove from the marinade; dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fry in a minimal amount of oil. When the meat is evenly browned, add butter, reduce the heat and baste the deer for 6-8 minutes with butter, pouring it over the meat from above. Then take the meat out of the saucepan and leave in a warm place. Bake slices of bacon at150°C for 12 minutes. Take out; dry on blotting paper and dice. Peel the apple, dice and combine with bacon. Add fresh lovage and a tea spoonful of mustard and mix. Divide the haunch into four even parts. Put the previously prepared bacon and apple paste on each part of the meat. Bake the whole in a hot oven, but only for 2 minutes.


Kurt Scheller Swiss living in Poland for 20 years, certified master of the culinary art, teaches the art of cooking in Kurt Scheller Academy in Warsaw.

GROATS In Poland known as kasha, or earlier as krupy – the crushed grain of various cereals. Most varieties are produced by processing the grain of cereals like barley, millet or wheat, whereas buckwheat groats are regarded as the healthiest. All groats preserve the nutritional content of the grain and seed from which they are produced. The only foodstuffs comparable to Polish groats are couscous and rice. Groats, however, have a great variety of shapes and sizes – from tiny, lemon yellow balls through flat, grey pearls to thick, golden, flattened clods with dark streaks. All of them, especially the least processed, are unbelievably healthy. They contain plenty of soluble fibre, which lowers cholesterol levels, as well as many vitamins, minerals and microelements. In Poland barley groats are usually added to soups or served as a side dish with meat. Friable ones, such as buckwheat or pearl groats are the best for salads. Sweet puddings are made with semolina, buckwheat groats or grits. Various groats mixed with other ingredients can be used as stuffing for cabbage leaves (known as gołąbki), fish (e.g. pike) or poultry. Groats were a staple food in Poland until the 18th century. Today they are also used in fusion cuisine. Health food stores offer kaszi - barley grits with other ingredients rolled in seaweed, sushi style. Agata Wojda (Opasly Tom PIWu/Warszawa) prepares mushroom and goose consommé with smoked Polish plum and pear, served with ravioli with buckwheat groats and goose. Pure Polish!


Buckwheat risotto •  60 g butter •  1 tbsp oil

•  20 g grated cheese (Polish Bursztyn or Parmesan)

•  1 small onion, chopped

•  salt, pepper

•  30 g carrot

•  parsley leaves for decoration

•  30 g celery •  30 g leek •  100 g buckwheat groats •  a couple of tbsp of dry white wine

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add chopped onion and vegetables. Fry on a low heat for 1 minute. Add buckwheat and stir. Add wine and wait until it is absorbed. Pour in boiling water, covering the ingredients by 1 centimetre. Cook for 3-4 minutes in a covered pot. Turn off the heat, leave under the lid for 15-18 minutes, until the buckwheat absorbs the liquid and is cooked. Add 30 g of butter cut into cubes, and cheese. Stir. Sprinkle with parsley leaves. Serve with a steak or breaded cutlets.


Joseph Seeletso Chef at Joseph's Food & Wine and Dzień Dobry TVN.


Cod with roasted beetroot Fish with white, dense, aromatic flesh. Cod is a predator. In the Baltic Sea, it is fished mostly from the Bay of Gdańsk and Gotland Deep. Once cheap, nowadays more and more expensive as its rarity increases. Old Polish cuisine was dominated by fresh-water fish, such as carp, pike, and perch. Sea fish was much less accessible. However, at the royal table, cod was served with gooseberries and raisins. Today, Poland is home to 120 fish species (in rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and the sea) of which about 40 are edible. Cod is a popular fish, usually served fried or minced, as fish balls. A regional dish at the seaside is cooked smoked cod, or Kashubian cod, fried in pork fat and stewed in a consommé. Cod roe is also eaten smoked or fried. The fish might be roasted with potatoes and pumpkin; it can be accompanied by tomatoes, beans or spinach. It is advisable to buy fish on the very day you plan to cook it, since it has to be absolutely fresh. Agata Wojda (Opasły Tom PIWu/Warszawa) serves cod in marine ragout, with shrimps, mussels and orange. In February in Warsaw where the menu changes according to seasons, she serves, roasted cod with organic green Puy lentil, with a salsa of black and green olives and parsley tops. In late August in Gdynia there is the Cod Harvest – the Polish Seafish Dish Championship. The cod are caught by rod by a team member. The competitors leave for the high sea on fishing boats. Upon their return, they marinate the fish and prepare dishes for the contest.


•  2 cod fillets (120 g) •  175 g beetroot, quartered •  155 ml olive oil •  2 sprigs thyme •  1 cinnamon stick •  100 g green peas, blanched •  4 tbsp clarified butter •  1 tsp horseradish

Place the beetroot, olive oil, thyme and cinnamon stick in a roasting pan and roast for 20 - 30 minutes at 200 C. Meanwhile, season the cod with salt and pepper and fry on both sides for 2 minutes in clarified butter, skin side first, and roast in the oven for 5 minutes at 150 C. Puree the peas in a blender and strain through a sieve, place back in the sauce pan, add horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Plating: place beetroot on plate, top with cod, and place pea puree on top.


Jacek Szczepański Chef in Bulwar Hotel restaurant in Toruń.

Duck The best poultry for autumn. Waterfowl have a good deal of fat under their skin. Therefore, they are best roasted in the oven or on the barbecue so that the fat melts. You can tell a good duck by wing thickness and the softness of the lower part of the bill, which should easily break when bent. Fat should be white and absolutely translucent (Polish cuisine in recipes by Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa - 19th century cookbook). 8-10 weeks old ducks, weighing 2 - 3 kg are the tastiest treats. Their meat is dark and tender. Duck with apple or orange is a typical Polish dish. Duck can also be roasted with other fruit: peaches, pineapples, quinces, apricots, pears. The meat should be basted to roast the bird in its own fat once the water evaporates. The duck is ready when juices run clear after pricking the meat with a toothpick. Czernina is a unique and famous, traditional Polish, sweet and sour blood soup. Young animals – geese, ducks or hare – are bled, and their blood is mixed with vinegar, honey, ginger, cloves and cherry juice. In Polish restaurants, duck meat also appears in super modern dishes – sushi-masters prepare maki sushi with roasted duck and cranberries (Tomo). Chefs may serve a salad duck breast marinated in spices, with fruit of the forest and blackberry truffle dressing (Michał Tkaczyk, Bristol Le Meridien). Karol Okrasa (Platter/Warszawa) interprets a classical dish in an avantgarde way by serving pierogi with roast duck and buckwheat in an emulsion of butter and fermented rye-flour soup, scented with marjoram.


Duck served on Polish potatoes with caramelised apples •  1 duck (1.8 kg)

•  100 g cranberries

•  100 g garlic

•  40 g honey

•  350 g potatoes

•  2 apples

•  50 g onion

•  1 orange

•  1 g marjoram

•  dill

•  3 g cinnamon, sugar, salt, pepper •  16 g bacon •  60 g pork fat

Rub the duck with salt and pepper. Put half an orange and half an apple inside the cavity, and add salt, pepper, and marjoram. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. Cook the whole, peeled potatoes. Cool them down and put aside. Cut the pork fat into small cubes with the bacon and onion. Melt the pork fat in a hot pan, then add the onion and later bacon. When all the ingredients are fried, add the sliced potatoes, salt and pepper. When the potatoes are fried, add chopped dill. Roast the duck for 90 minutes at 145°C in a steam convection oven set to the steam baking programme. Cool down the roasted duck and remove the bones. Fold a breast with a drumstick (right breast – left drumstick), pour honey over and bake under the grill until browned. In the meantime, cut the apples into quarters and sprinkle them on a pre-prepared hot sugar caramel. Stir for a while and add marjoram. Put potatoes on a plate, and then cover them with the onion and bacon. Place the duck and apples on top. Finally cover everything with a bit of caramel from the apple pan.


Robert Trzópek Chef in Tamka 43 restaurant in Warsaw.

LAMB Lambs are mostly bred in the Tatras, where flocks graze on wide, green, mountain meadows. At one time, the end of work in the fields was celebrated by baking a whole lamb in an oven. The meat was marinated to tenderise and lose its characteristic aroma. After marinating and before roasting, the meat was rubbed with salt, garlic and spices. Roasting took several hours. Spicy fillets of lamb, flavoured with coriander, honey and lemon peel and juice are a regional delicacy in the Tatras. Lamb meat is regarded as exclusive. In the 1970s and 80s, Poland’s sheep population was 5 million! Last year it was only 258 thousand. The majority of the meat is exported to France, Italy and the Netherlands. Lamb chops cooked the Polish way are accompanied by garlic, horseradish, apple and lemon. In Warsaw, restaurants which follow the Slow Food philosophy serve Polish lamb haunch with caramelised shallots and barley. In the springtime in Warsaw, some restaurants on the bank of the Vistula offer grilled lamb with young lettuce leaves, chickpeas, peas, shoots, and cucumber, with celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and a lemon and caper dressing with anchovies, garlic and chilli. Lamb goes well with lentils, beans and chickpeas. This flavoursome meat needs bold garnishing.

Lamb Shoulder Sous Vide with Mashed Apples and Baked Celeriac If you have an opportunity to use vacuum packing, take a lamb shoulder on the bone (about 1.5 kg) and place in a suitable container with three table spoonfuls of oil. Then cook the packed meat at 64°C for 24 hours. Remove the bone and place a weight on the meat to make it as flat as possible, and chill. Cut the prepared piece of meat into four equal parts. Before serving, fry in a saucepan until it is delicately brown. Home version – if you don't have the option to use vacuum packing or temperature control: Sprinkle the raw lamb shoulder with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Fry evenly on both sides until the meat is brown. Still frying, pour in a glass of wine and add water to cover the meat. Cook on low heat for 2 hours until it is tender Mashed apples (Szara Reneta variety): Peel and hollow out the apples, cut them into halves or quarters and fry in a hot pan until they are half-hard and brown. Cover with foil, cool down and blend. Baked Celeriac: Bake celeriac at 180 °C until it is tender. Cut into 3-centemetre pieces (4 pieces per person). Blend the remaining celeriac and squeeze the juice. Mix the juice with browned butter – this will serve as the sauce. Finally, put the mashed apples on a plate, place the piece of lamb shoulder with celeriac at the side. Pour the sauce over. Garnish with wild herbs (yarrow, stellaria, wild sorrel).



Agata Wojda Chef of Opasły Tom PIW-u restaurant, where she serves a tasting menu every night.

QUARK In Polish known as twaróg, this is fresh cheese made of curdled cow's milk. Traditionally produced from warmed, non-pasteurized milk "fresh from the cow", which sours naturally. Once congealed, the mass was poured into a horn made of linen or put into a wooden press, to remove the whey and to shape the cheese into a wedge-like triangle with rounded edges. Quark is quite crumbly. It can be cut, crumbled, or rubbed with cream or yoghurt. Ricotta is similar to Polish quark, but it has a silkier structure. In Polish households, quark serves as a basis for cheesecake, pierogi, pancakes, and other dishes. It can be served sweet with honey, or savoury with cooked potato and chives. Although it is a peasants' delicacy, it has been ennobled. Quark, together with tomatoes, basil and linseed oil, makes a Polish Caprese. Agata Wojda uses quark to make horseradish mousse. To achieve fluffiness, the chef advises, “You need full-fat quark, minced three times in a mincer with a fine strainer. The best addition is a piece of freshly dug horseradish root, peeled with a peeler, slightly chilled down and grated on the finest part of the grater. Remember that horseradish darkens quickly, so you may want to add a bit of apple vinegar and a pinch of sugar. If you do not have horseradish, replace it with wasabi.” Horseradish mousse can be served with thin slices of baked beetroot delicately warmed in linseed (or grapeseed) oil, with a spoonful of honey and raspberry or blackcurrant. The Polish tradition of growing bitter-cress is unknown in other countries, as is its flavour. Bitter-cress, with its spicy flavour, is a great addition to quark and horseradish.


Horseradish mousse •  1 kg quark •  3 flat tbsp grated horseradish •  ½ l cream •  1 tbsp liquid honey •  pinch of salt •  3 tbsp linseed oil •  4 tsp gelatine •  100 ml water

Mix the minced quark with cream in a deep bowl. Add the cream slowly, whisking continuously until smooth. Add the horseradish, sweeten with honey and add salt to taste. Add linseed oil. Dissolve 4 teaspoonfuls of gelatine in hot water. Wait till it cools down. When it is tepid, add to the mass. Mix until smooth. Place immediately in moulds previously greased with oil and lined with foil. Tap them delicately. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.


Arleta Żynel Chef in Mistrz i Małgorzata restaurants in Białystok.

POTATO Probably brought to Poland from the Vienna Expedition (1683) by the Polish King Jan III Sobieski. Potatoes have only been grown as edible crops since the mid-18th century (initially they were cultivated as ornamental plants or botanical curiosities). Today potato cultivation is fundamental to vegetable production in Polish agriculture, right after cereal. Potatoes are the staple nourishment for most Poles. Potatoes are most commonly eaten boiled or mashed. Sliced boiled potatoes fried in butter are delicious. Mashed potato mixed with quark forms the filling for ruskie pierogi. Potato sausage (kiszka ziemniaczana) is a regional dish from Podlasie. Pork intestines are stuffed with mashed potato up to two thirds of their volume, pricked with a fork (to prevent breaking) and baked in an oven. Pork fat, suet, or fried bacon and spices are added to the potatoes. Similar dishes are popular in Kurpie region, where they are called rejbaka; in Austria (where the potato mass is boiled, not baked); and in France (where animal stomachs are filled with potatoes). Every May, in Supraśl near Białystok, the World Championship in Baking Potato Sausage and Potato Pound Cake are organised. Arleta Żynel, chef, prepares potato sausage with chanterelles (canthearellus cibarius) – small, orange or yellow mushrooms with a fan-shaped cap, quite tough flesh, a peppery flavour and a unique fruity smell, reminiscent of apricots. Chanterelles are collected in Polish forests in summer. They taste delicious stewed with onion and cream. They can be added to scrambled eggs. A typical Polish foodstuff that goes perfectly with potato sausage is Toruńska sausage – pork meat, medium minced, smoked, and steamed. It can be replaced with any other sausage which is smoked and not too spicy.


Potato sausage with chanterelles •  3 kg potatoes

•  1 tsp pepper

•  80 g Toruńska sausage

•  pork intestines (thin) or protein casings

•  2 onions •  400 g chanterelles •  2-3 tbsp flour •  2 eggs •  1/2 glass oil •  1 tsp salt

Grate the potatoes with a fine grater. Dice the sausage, fry in the oil and leave to cool down. Fry the chanterelles with chopped onion for 5-8 minutes and cool down. Add two eggs, flour, spices, sausage and chanterelles to grated potatoes. Stir thoroughly and loosely fill intestines previously soaked in milk. Bind the endings of the filled intestines with a toothpick. Place on a baking tray and prick in a few places. Bake for about an hour at 170°C. Serve with a favourite side dish – in the Podlasie region pickles and sauerkraut with apples are a popular choice.


Artur Moroz Bulaj/Sopot



Authors of the recipes

Karol Okrasa Platter/Warszawa

Beetroot Wojciech Modest Amaro Atelier Studio/Warszawa

Pickled cucumber









Poppy seed





Joseph's Food&Wine/ Dzień Dobry TVN






Tamka 43/Warszawa



Agata Wojda 12

Grzegorz Labuda Platinum Palace/Wrocław

Akademia Kurta Schellera/ Warszawa

Robert Trzópek

Artur Grajber Sheraton/Warszawa


Jacek Szczepański

Marcin Filipkiewicz Copernicus/Kraków

Game meat

Joseph Seeletso

Urszula Czyżak Piotrkowska 97/Łódź

Le Regina/Warszawa

Kurt Scheller

Adam Chrząstowski Ancora/Kraków


Paweł Oszczyk

Jean Bos Akademia Molekularna/Bydgoszcz


Opasły Tom PIWu/Warszawa



Arleta Żynel 14

Mistrz i Małgorzata/Białystok



Concept, text, recipe editing: Monika Kucia Project and graphic design: Ela Skrzypek Illustrations: Karolina Mazurkiewicz

Published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland in the framework of the Polish Presidency in the EU Council (2011)

Cuisine PL en  

Cuisine PL en

Cuisine PL en  

Cuisine PL en