This recipe for Kishke comes from Michael Ruhlman‘s new book, The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat. What’s kishke you may ask? Kishke is actually Yiddish for “gut,” because the traditional casings of kishke were oftentimes intestines of animals. Kishke is a popular eastern European sausage dish that Ruhlman says is so simple and delicious that, “it deserves to be resurrected.”
But that isn’t the only food item Ruhlman wants to resurrect. This week on Good Food, Ruhlman spoke with Evan Kleiman about returning schmaltz to its former glory.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.
1⁄2 cup/120 grams schmaltz
1 Spanish onion, cut into large dice
5 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large dice
2 large celery stalks, cut into large dice
11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
11⁄2 cups/210 grams matzo meal (or
6 squares of matzo, well pulverized in a food processor)
11⁄2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 large eggs, beaten (if using beef casing)
30 inches/75 centimeters beef casing, cut in half and well soaked (optional)
1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters chicken stock
Heat 1⁄4 cup/60 grams schmaltz in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook it all for a few minutes, stirring, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, another 30 minutes or so. Transfer the veg- etables to a plate to cool.
In a food processor, combine the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, matzo meal, pep- per, and paprika. Pulse the blade a few times to distribute the seasoning. Add the cooled vegetables, the remaining 1⁄4 cup/60 grams schmaltz, and the eggs, if using. Process until it’s uniformly combined; it should hold together when squeezed. If it’s too dry, add another few tablespoons of schmaltz or 1⁄4 cup chicken stock and purée some more.
If roasting, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Divide the kishke onto two sheets of parchment paper or foil, and use your hands to roll it into two 8-inch/21-centimeter cylinders, then wrap in the parchment or foil, twisting the ends to tighten. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. If serving right away, allow the kishke to cool for 20 minutes before un- wrapping and slicing. Otherwise, refrigerate the wrapped kishke till you’re ready to reheat (in the microwave or oven, or by slicing and frying).
If you’re using beef casing, make sure the casing has been well soaked and flushed with plenty of cold water. Stuff each piece with the kishke by hand; the kishke will double in size, so stuff the casing extremely loosely, only about half the diameter of what the casing will contain. Tie off each end with a strong knot of kitchen string. Poke the casing all over with a knife tip, needle, or sausage pricker to help prevent the casing from bursting—it may burst anyway depending on how you cook it; the casing becomes very delicate, so be gentle.
Poach the kishke in poultry stock at just below a simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes (don’t worry, you can’t overcook it). Or, if you prefer, place the kishke in an oven-safe casserole dish, cover with simmering hot stock, and place in a 200°F/95°C oven for 45 minutes.
Recipe and Image excerpted from Michael Ruhlman’s The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat. Publisher: Little Brown & Company.