My Mother's Cooking - Potato Dumplings with Bacon and Onions
Potato Kluski with Bacon and Onions
My Mother's Cooking
Potato Dumplings with Bacon and Onions
One of my favorite meals growing up consisted of small homemade potato dumplings smothered in bacon and onions. I don’t know what the correct name is for this combination, but we just called it kluski.
My mother didn’t make it too often, because grating the potatoes was a lot of work and so was forming the dumplings by scraping the mixture off of a plate into boiling water using a tablespoon. As my mother got older, I usually ended up grating the potatoes for her and mixing the thick batter.
Once you have tasted these dumplings, you will fall in love in with them too. One word of caution, however, these dumplings are quite heavy and filling. In fact, rumor has it that they were at one time used for ballast in sailing ships.
6 Large Russet Potatoes peeled
4-5 Cups of Flour approximately
2 Lbs. of Onions peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Lb. of Thick Sliced Bacon cut into half inch pieces
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Grate the potatoes using a box grater. (You could also use a food processor instead, but the texture of grated potatoes cannot be duplicated.)
- 2. In a large bowl, mix the grated potatoes with one teaspoon of salt and start adding flour one cup at a time and mix thoroughly with a large wooden spoon.
- Keep adding flour one cup at a time until you think that you can no longer mix it and then add one more cup.
- With a little patience and hard work, you should be able to get that last cup of flour mixed in too.
- Meanwhile, bring about six quarts of lightly salted water to a boil.
Cooking Instructions - Making the Dumplings
- Transfer about one cup of batter at a time to a large saucer or dessert plate using the wooden spoon that you used to mix the batter.
- Holding the plate close to the water, dip a tablespoon into the boiling water and use the back of the spoon to smooth out the batter over a large area of the plate.
- Now with the spoon facing away from you, quickly scrape small dumplings into the boiling water. They should be the size of an almond or even smaller if you have the patience.
- Continue scraping dumplings into the water until the plate is empty and then repeat the process with more batter until all of it is gone. Remember to keep dipping the spoon in the boiling water from time to time to keep it from sticking to the batter.
- Stir the dumplings with a large slotted spoon to keep them from sticking together. They are done once they all rise to the surface, but to be certain, remove a large one with the slotted spoon, rinse under cold water and taste it.
- Finally, pour half of the dumplings at one time into a colander and rinse thoroughly to remove the excess starch. Transfer the rinsed dumplings to a large bowl and repeat with the second half.
- This entire process may seem complicated, but once you have done it a few times, you will see that it is really only time consuming.
Cooking Instructions - Making the Additions
- Fry the bacon in a large frying pan until the pieces start to brown but are still soft. Then add the onions and continue cooking until they are translucent. Sprinkle this mixture with the salt and pepper.
- In a large kettle, add the dumplings and the bacon/onion mixture and mix them together with the slotted spoon.
- Adjust the seasoning. At this point they are ready to serve, but many people prefer to brown them slightly in smaller batches in a lightly buttered frying pan to make them crisper.
We generally ate them just by themselves with a beverage to wash them down. If you must have something else, a small tossed salad would work. Don’t worry about what to do with the leftovers – there won’t be any.
For other types of dumplings made with potatoes, see
Norwegian Potato Dumplings - The dough is similar but not the size of the dumplings.
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