Sunday, February 27, 2011

A block of Potatoes - The One about the Kugel

You may remember my post from yesterday about Gribenes. Well, one of the byproducts of making Gribenes is the rendered chicken fat, a.k.a. schmaltz. If you didn't know, that stuff is also darn tasty and gives a fine, fine flavor to whatever it's used in. So, since we had some schmaltz left over we're going to use it to add some flavor to the potato kugel. A bit of a historical note on the term, in Yiddish it means square, though the original German is more like ball. The dish, at one time was round, but these days, with some exceptions, are mostly made in square/rectangular pans. On a side note, the game Knucklebones in Yiddish is called Kugelach, and is played with 5 bronze cubes. Well, enough with the history and on to the food.

You'll need:
6 good sized potatoes
1 large onion
1/2 cup oil
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper
2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C)

Peel them!

Then grate them. I do it with a hand grater and half on the thick grate and half on the thin.
Now, the trick to making a good potato kugel, and latkes for that matter is to squeeze out all the liquid from the grated potatoes. This is a bit messy, so do it over the sink.

Now, chop your onion, not to finely and saute it in the schmaltz from the gribenes. I told you we'd be using it, now's your chance to kick this up a notch. If you haven't got spare schmaltz, use olive oil, or if you want to make it dairy some butter.

When the onions are translucent and starting to brown dump them into the grated potatoes and mix in the oil.

Add the salt.
And the pepper. I'd personally add more, since I like mine really sharp, but I've been out voted.
Now, add the eggs.
Make sure to remove the shells before doing so, beating and then adding to the mix.
Make sure it's well incorporated and dump into an oiled casserole dish and into the oven. It should be about two inches thick.
Let it cook about 50 minutes at 375F (190C) uncovered until deep golden brown.


  1. No flour/matzo meal?? Is this a post-modern kugel?

  2. Hah! Nope, that was never necessary. Just weighs it down, and this way it gets to be gluten free.

  3. Hey, if gluten is an issue, then by all means. Bit "weighs it down"? How is potatoes plus flour any heavier than potatoes without flour?