Machanka is a traditional Belarussian dish, though I’m sure there are variations in other countries. It is a meat based stew/soup served with special thin, large, draniki (latkes). The preparation takes many steps and can involve multiple people working side by side, in fact it’ll be a lot quicker if you have someone helping you. Therefore, this is a dish best enjoyed with family and/or friends.
- 1 lb pork shoulder
- 2 large polish sausages
- 1 medium-large onion (chopped)
- 0.5 cups white flour
- 2 Bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, 5-6 whole peppercorns
- 20 small-medium potatoes
- 4 tbs white flour
- 1 oz salo (use lard if you can’t find salo)
- 1 tsp salt
Directions for Machanka:
Cut up the pork shoulder into 1 to 2 inch cubes, size is not very important. Place them in a pot, fill with water, add salt and bring to boil.
Once boiling, turn down the heat and let the shoulder simmer for at least an hour. In the meantime, take the polish sausages and place them into a frying pan. Fill it with enough water to almost cover them completely. Cook them on high heat for 15-20 minutes.
Drain the sausages, and cut them up into a 1” pieces. Do this part slowly since they might squirt hot water at you when you cut them. Throw the pieces into a pan and brown them for a few minutes and set aside.
Chop up the onions
Once the shoulder broth has been simmering for an hour, add the onions and let it simmer for a few more minutes until the onions become transparent.
Add the browned sausages, bay leaves, and the peppercorns. Check the salt in the machanka at this point.
Let it keep simmering until the onions become completely soft and translucent, the sausages will start to float by that point too.
In a cup, combine the flour with water to make about 1 cup total of a homogenous mixture. Use cold water and stir vigorously to prevent clumps from forming.
Slowly stir the flour-water mixture into the machanka
Bring to a boil and as soon as it starts bubbling, remove from heat.
Directions for the draniki:
Peel the potatoes
Grate the potatoes into a large bowl and add the flour and salt. The draniki mix can’t be too thick or too thin, you need to be able to pour it into the pan. Adjust the amount of flour accordingly.
Turn the heat on high for a large dry pan. Using the salo, grease the pan with a thin layer of fat. Use cooking lard if you can’t obtain any salo, but use a very thin layer.
Spoon the draniki mix into the pan and spread it around to form a thin circle approximately 6” in diameter. Cook the draniki on each side for just a few minutes until they brown.
Re-grease the pan after each dranik is made.
The proper way to eat the machanka is to roll up the draniki and dip into the machanka.