These are based on Hungarian shlishkes. It's traditional to fry the breadcrumbs in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), but we've opted for the ease of butter. The speck is not traditional either, but its smoky flavour adds complexity.
- 120 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 40 gm speck slices, coarsely torn
- 60 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
- To serve: coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 kg floury potatoes (such as sebago), scrubbed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 30 gm matzo meal (see note)
- 100 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1For potato dumplings, place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook until tender (20-25 minutes). Drain, set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and mash in a bowl. Add egg, mix to combine, then add matzo meal and mix in with your hands. Add flour, a little at a time, and knead to form a soft dough. Cover with a tea towel, rest for 30 minutes, then roll half-tablespoonfuls into ovals. Set aside on a lightly floured tray (you can freeze the potato dumplings at this stage).
- 2Meanwhile, heat 40gm butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming, add speck and cook until crisp (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, add another 40gm butter to pan, then add breadcrumbs, season to taste and stir occasionally until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Set aside and wipe out pan.
- 3Cook dumplings in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until they float to the top (2-3 minutes; stir as you add the dumplings to prevent them from sticking to the base). Heat remaining butter in a large frying pan until foaming, transfer dumplings to pan using a slotted spoon, shaking off excess water, and toss until light golden (2-3 minutes). Add speck mixture and parsley, toss to coat and serve hot.
Note Matzo meal, ground matzo crackers, is available from delicatessens and the kosher section of supermarkets.
Drink Suggestion: Dry grüner veltliner. Drink suggestion by Max Allen