[an error occurred while processing this directive] Potato Zeppelins with Irene - Steven and Chris
Potato Zeppelins with Irene

Potato Zeppelins with Irene


This recipe for Cepelinai (potato zeppelins) is Steven's maternal grandmother's. Irene started to make them for her family and it became one of Steven's favourite dishes (he lobbied to have her make them on the show just so he could taste them again!). Though these Zeppelins are time consuming to make, they're sure to become one of your family's favourites too.

Lithuanians are an agricultural society and winters are very long. These two things will help to understand why it is that every time you sit down to a Lithuanian meal you are faced with a plate of food full of meat and grease. Lithuanians use much brown bread as well. It is delicious, dark, heavy, fragrant and remains fresh for long. Cepelinai are big round balls made of raw or cooked potatoes with meat, curd or any other stuffing inside. The origin of the name "Cepelinas" is from the name of the German airship - Zeppelin. Although cepelinai are prepared in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Ukraine, it is one the most typical Lithuanian dishes.


** This recipe serves 12. Cut it in half for a meal for 6.


10 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
4 medium to small boiled potatoes
1 lb lean ground beef
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbs fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried crushed parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Boil 4 potatoes 'til tender (boil with skins). Cool, peel put through ricer and set aside.

Mix ground beef with beaten egg, crumbs, milk, onions, garlic and rest of spices, set aside.

Peel raw potatoes, put (in batches) in food processor and pulse 'til consistency is like applesauce (or you can grate by hand into a bowl but use a small grater - it should be mushy in consistency). Put this potato mush in a cheesecloth or linen tea towel (again in batches) and squeeze out all the moisture - keep liquid so starch can form on the bottom, 1/3 cup of starch has to be added back to the potato mixture. When all batches are done, add raw potatoes to riced potatoes, add salt to taste, about 1 1/2 to 2 tsp, add the starch and mix thoroughly.

Save the left over starch to coat Zeppelins when forming with hands.

Take a small portion of potato mixture (about size of lemon) make a flat patty in the palm of your hand, and put in a bit of meat filling, close and pat to form into a football shape if you have leftover starch rub some over the palms of your hands and put over the Zeppelin.

If you should run out of meat, just make a round flat patty.

Bring water to a boil; add some salt (use a large stock pot). Carefully put Zeppelins in water, bring back to a boil, and cook on medium to low setting, on a gentle boil, 'til done, about 1 - 11/2 hours. When stirring, use the back of a wooden spoon so you don 't break them.


1 large can of mushroom soup
10 slices of bacon, or whatever you want
1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 can milk
3 to 4 soup spoons of sour cream

Saute bacon to desired crispness, remove from fry pan, in bacon grease, saute onions and garlic, (if not enough grease add butter).

Add soup and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer a couple of minutes. Add bacon and sour cream. Serve over Zeppelins.

(If you should have some ground beef left over, saute with bacon). For more sauce you can use another can of soup large or small and increase everything else.


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