Written by Zuzana Chroustova
Potato pancakes are traditional to Slavic and Germanic countries. They are delicious, and people recommend eating them with lager or pilsner-style cold beer.
A recipe for potato pancakes that is very popular throughout the Czech Republic comes from the town of Kaplice. This town is located in the South Bohemian region. It was founded in the early Middle Ages —it was first mentioned in 1257– as a market village on an important trade route that connected Upper Austria with South Bohemia. The route was used for the transportation of salt and had important stopping places in the Austrian town of Freistadt and in Kaplice, so it was named after these towns. The advantageous location of Kaplice was the reason for its change from a little settlement to a prosperous town.
The Kaplice potato pancake is special because it adds sauerkraut and slices of smoked meat.
1 lb fully-cooked smoked pork meat (smoked ham, Canadian bacon, etc.)
oil for frying
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup lard
2-3 tsp granulated sugar
1 medium onion
1 lb sauerkraut
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp caraway seeds
salt to taste
2 lbs potatoes
1/2 lb all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp marjoram
salt and black pepper to taste
First, peel the potatoes and grate them coarsely into a bowl. Let the grated potatoes sit and then pour out the excess water. Next, mash 3 cloves of garlic and blend them with salt, and then add this mixture to the grated potatoes. Then add the flour, milk, and egg to the bowl and mix it together. Next, add pepper and marjoram. If the mixture is too thick, then add a bit of milk. Let the oil heat in a pan, and then pour small portions of the dough onto the pan. Fry the pancakes on both sides.
Put the smoked meat in a pot of water, add salt, and boil for about 45 minutes. When the meat is cooked, take it out and cut it into slices. Fry each slice on both sides in oil.
Put the lard in a pan and cut the onion into small pieces. Put the chopped onion in the pan and fry until golden. Cut the sauerkraut and add it to the pan. Flavor with salt and caraway seeds. Add water and braise the sauerkraut for about 35 minutes. After 30 minutes, mix granulated sugar into the sauerkraut and let it cook for 5 minutes under a lid.
Add cooked sauerkraut and 2 slices of fried meat to each potato pancake. Fold every pancake in half, and then serve.