Bramborák Se Zelím (Czech Potato Pancakes)

November 24, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

When we were kids my mother and my aunt (Teta Lida), would be speaking in Czech and laughing their heads off. We would ask them what was so funny and they would say "It doesn't translate". Same goes for their recipes that say "reserve the drained liquid from the potatoes and add exactly that much milk"...This is my version of the Czech version of potato pancakes made with caramelized onion and caraway seeds. - nannydeb —nannydeb

Test Kitchen Notes

These are de-lic-cious. I really do think Eastern European food is under-appreciated and these potato pancakes are the perfect example. Flecked with caraway and a wonderful addition of farina they are very nicely flavored and go great with pork roasts, cabbage or sauerkraut, which is how we had them for Sunday dinner. They would also stand nicely on their own with sour cream or, as we had them, with curry ketchup. I made them twice, because I liked them that much, and the second time I used a light hand and made sure not to over mix the dough. Thanks nannydeb for posting this delightful family recipe. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium onion, sliced or slivered
  • 3/4 plus 2 tablespoons lard, vegetable oil or rendered chicken fat
  • 4 cups shredded potato, about 2 pounds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup farina, cream of wheat or wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons lard or oil. Add sliced onion and reduce heat to low. Cook the onions for about 40 minutes or until caramelized and golden brown. Set aside.
  2. While the onions are cooking, grate the potatoes and put them in a colander to drain. Squeeze out all of the liquid that you can.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and the milk. Add the flour, farina, caraway seeds, potatoes and caramelized onion. Mix well.
  4. Heat the lard or oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  5. Test the oil first by dropping a small bit of the potato mixture in. If it sizzles and starts to cook your oil is hot enough.
  6. Grab a handful of the potato mixture and patty it out. Gently place each patty into the hot oil and don't over crowd the skillet (none touching).
  7. Fry the patties for 3-5 minutes or until the edges are brown. Turn the patties over for another 3-5 minutes on the other side.
  8. Drain the pancakes on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Keep them hot in the oven until all are done.
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  • drbabs
  • aargersi
  • nannydeb
  • Sagegreen

Recipe by: nannydeb

Former restaurant manager (and waitress, bartender, etc). I love food: eating, trying new recipes, shopping for it, talking/emailing about it, etc. My foodie friend and pen pal got me interested in recipe contests and also turned me on to food52 and now I'm obsessed!

4 Reviews

drbabs November 25, 2010
They do sound delicious (I'm a fellow sauerkraut lover, too) and I love the story.
aargersi November 24, 2010
These sound delicious - I love the caraway addition. That sauerkraut and sausage in the photo look like the perfect accompaniment!!!
nannydeb November 24, 2010
Thank you fellow sauerkraut lover!
Sagegreen November 28, 2010
Yes, great story!