Hello everybody!!!

The other day we cooked a Lithuanian dish that we both love and want to introduce you to – Cepelinai or Zeppelins. Oh it takes me right back to my mummy’s house. Hopefully she’ll make us some when we go there in three weeks.

 For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 kg raw potatoes
  • 4 medium size cooked potatoes
  • 300 g minced meat (half beef, half pork)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • some mixed spices for meat
  • salt and pepper
  • fatty bacon or pancetta
  • sour cream

Before you begin, boil your potatoes and let them cool, then peel the skin off. After mash them up. I used a potato masher. My mum uses a mincer and I would definitely recommend that if you have one as it makes the potatoes nice and smooth.

You can use different fillings for this recipe but today we will use minced meat. To get the meat mince ready fry half of your finely chopped onion and put it in the mince together with salt and pepper and mixture of spices. In Lithuania we use a combination of vegetables and seasoning herbs, it’s like a basic seasoning for all the dishes. Blend well. Get it all in to little balls around 25 g each and put aside.

It is best to get it all ready before you grate the potatoes as they tend to go dark quickly.

Finely grate the potatoes.

Put potato gratings in a double cheese cloth and squeeze dry. We just used a clean dish cloth as that’s the only cloth I could find.

At around this point you can put a big pot of water on so it’s boiling when you need it (you will need quite a big pot).

Remember to keep the liquid. Let the potato starch settle on the bottom.

Decant the liquid, mix the starch with dry raw potato and add the boiled potato. Season and blend well.
To start shaping the zeppelins form balls from around 1/2 a cup of the mix. If the mix get sticky, use a little water to wet your palms.

Flatten into round shape like a pancake.

Add the mince balls that you prepared earlier in the middle.

Fold over, seal seam and make a shape of the zeppelin.

So carry on till they are all ready.

 When they are put them into boiling water and simmer for around 30 minutes. We used to always try one to see if the meat is cooked inside (mostly because we couldn’t wait to try one 😉  )

While you are waiting, you can fry the rest of the onion and the bacon for the topping.

When the zeppelins are ready top them up with sour cream and bacon and enjoy! ‘Skanaus’ as we say in Lithuania 🙂