There are a few things that I think I could use a little more of in my life. One of those things is Polish food, and the other is mushrooms. I love both, but for some reason, I just don’t get enough of them. Once a year, if I’m lucky, I’ll get my hands on some Pierogi. And that just doesn’t seem to be enough. Does once a year seem like enough exposure to your cultural heritage? I certainly don’t think so. And mushrooms! Mushrooms are great! Why don’t I eat more of those? I’m stumped.
Well, I’m trying to do something about it, but until then, that Once a Year has come around again. I’m at my grandparents’ house, and that means a fleeting period of wonderful eats. Today we made something Polish-ish, although I’ve been told it may be more of a Chicago-Pole thing rather than a traditional-Pole cuisine. Either way, it’s good and it makes me feel like I’m getting a taste of what my ancestors grew up eating. My grandpa, Jaja, told me that my Busha (his mother, my Great-grandmother) used to make this when he was growing up. So what is “this,” exactly? Pigs in a Blanket. Meat wrapped around bacon, bread, and one delectable mushroom to round it all off. Ahh, delicious.
But let’s not pretend that these are very healthy. Is it just me, or does it seem like traditional recipes don’t take your heart into consideration? Red meat on top of fried red meat. Once a year shouldn’t hurt, though… and now that I think about it, there are a lot worse things out there nowadays. So I wouldn’t worry about it. Grab a couple Pigs, pour some gravy over those potatoes, a good hunk a bread to sop up everything left on the plate, and eat like those in the Old Country of Chicago.
Busha’s recipe via Jaja
2 Thin Cut Round Steaks
1 Slab Bacon, cut in half (12 pieces total)
Several Slices White Bread, cut into chunks
I Basket of Button Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Onion, sliced
Black Pepper, to taste
Cut the Steaks into twelve 1& 1/2 by 4 strips. Set aside.
Fry the Bacon in a skillet until cooked but still pliable. Set aside.
To assemble the Pigs, lay one piece of bacon along a strip of steak, followed by a piece of White Bread, and finally a slice of Mushroom. Wrap up all of the ingredients in the steak and secure with a toothpick. Continue until all the pieces of steak are used up (if you do not use up all of the mushrooms or bread, set them aside for later).
Transfer the rolled-up Pigs to a skillet and brown. Once all sides are nicely browned, add them to a large pot with the Sliced Onion and cover with Beef Broth. If you have any left over bread or mushrooms, you can add them to the pot as well. Season the Pigs in broth will Black Pepper. Bring the broth to a boil, then lower to simmer and cover for at least and hour (although you may let it simmer for several hours, if you like).
Serve the Pigs and gravy over Mashed Potatoes with some good bread. Enjoy!