Homemade Polish gefilte fish are with beet chrein are a sweet-and-sour treat that will change the way you think about traditional Jewish food. Care, good ingredients and attention to detail make this a dish worth savouring!
Cuisine Ashkenazi, Jewish, Jewish cuisine, Polish
Keyword beets, chrein, fish, kosher, passover
Prep Time 3hours30minutes
Cook Time 2hours
Total Time 5hours30minutes
Author Ksenia Prints
Chrein (horseradish-beet sauce)
1fish head and boneswhen buying your fish, ask the fish monger to keep the head and bones in a bag for you; if you’re filleting and cleaning your own fish, make sure to keep the head and bones
1carrotpeeled and sliced into rounds
5whole allspice berries
One parsley stem
1beetpeeled and quartered (optional; my Ukrainian grandmother does this, but it takes the recipe in a decidedly non-Polish direction. However, this will give your gefilte fish an appealing pinkish hue)
Polish gefilte fish
700gwhitefishground (pickerel or rockfish, cod and haddock are also acceptable replacements)
1onionchopped finely (you may fry your onion first for additional flavor; if doing this, take care not to brown onion)
½cupmatzo meal. Gluten free alternative - replace this with GF matzo meal or omit altogether.
Large lettuce or kale leavesfor presentation
1 8-inchX 8-inch piece of cheesecloth
1 8-inchpiece of kitchen twine
1large serving dish
Chrein (horseradish-beet sauce)
Peel beets and horseradish, and soak them in cold water for an hour (this saves you the hassle of cooking the beets).
Drain well, and grate using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a fine grating disc.
In a bowl, mix with sugar, salt and vinegar, taking care to incorporate all ingredients completely.
Transfer to a jar, cover with lid and let rest for at least two hours before serving (chrein keeps well in the refrigerator, only getting better with time).
Wrap fish head and bones in a cheesecloth pouch (cut a large square of cheesecloth, wrap fish head and bones in it, and tie together with kitchen twine).
Add sliced carrots, onions, bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice berries, parsley stem and beets (if using) to pot. Add enough water to cover ingredients.
Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and continue simmering for 30 minutes, until carrots can be easily pierced with a fork.
Polish gefilte fish – best to do this while your fish broth is cooking
Combine all gefilte fish ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands until well combined.
Wet the palms of your hands and form oval shaped patties the size of a golf ball.
Place gefilte fish balls into fish broth; add enough water to ensure gefilte fish are submerged fully.
Simmer over a low flame slowly for 1.5 hours. Carefully remove all the patties and carrot slices from the broth. Set aside to cool.
OPTIONAL: After the fish has been removed, strain off the cooking liquid. This stock will jell when chilled, providing a traditional sauce to serve with the gefilte fish.
To serve gefilte fish, arrange lettuce or kale leaves on a large platter. Carefully place gefilte fish patties on top of the greens. Top each patty with one of the cooked sliced carrots, and a dollop of chrein. Serve with more chrein on the side.
If you cannot find a fishmonger who will grind the fish into burger meat for you, you can process it yourself in a food processor or a meat grinder. However, please take care to take out all the bones before doing so - and save them for the fish broth.
Polish gefilte fish and beet chrein https://immigrantstable.com/polish-gefilte-fish/ April 8, 2019