Ingredients

  • 6-8 russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 4-6 extra large eggs (you’ll see if your test pancake holds together)
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, grated (microplane) or pressed
  • One big white onion, finely minced
  • S & p, amount depends on your palate, as well as the starchiness of your potatoes
  • A goodly three palms full of marjoram, crushed between your palms (to release its essential oil)
  • 2.5-3 cups APF (depending on how much liquid the potatoes will release)
  • A few handfuls of pork fat crisps
  • PORK FAT, for frying. Canola oil-never olive oil- would be an acceptable substitute, but they won’t be Jana’s Potato Pancakes.

 

Directions

Put everything, except the pork fat and crisps, into a very large bowl, and let rest, at least ½ hour. Stir in APF, in ½ cup increments, until batter reaches classic pancake consistency. You may need to add more flour, for the last few pancakes, as the spuds continue to release water. Stir in the pork crisps AFTER you have made your test pancake.

Test pancake: bring a tablespoon of pork fat to a shimmer, in a small fry pan. Ladle about ¼ cup of the batter onto it. Leave it alone! In about one minute, it will easily release, flip it over. Admire how beautifully the first side turned golden! When the second side is crunchy, remove it to a cooling rack. Please try to wait before tasting!  Don’t burn your tongue. Adjust seasonings. Then, using your two biggest frying pans, continue frying 3-4 at a time in each. You will develop a smooth rhythm.

Jana’s Tip: This batter freezes beautifully! Buy russets when they are on super sale, freeze the batter in your family sized amounts. Thaw in refr overnight. The batter may have blackened a little as the potatoes will have oxidized. This will have no effect on the flavor.

Pork fat rules! Buy it, render it, and use it.

When pork is on sale, speak to your meat department friend. Ask to have about 5# pork fat put into the freezer for you. Let it thaw in the refr overnight. Set aside a couple hours of time. Now, using a very sharp knife, cut into ¼-1/2” dice.  This is tedious work.  It cannot be done by any machine in my kitchen (my meat dept friend cuts the frozen pork into fajita strips, on his butchers’ saw. At least it is at the ½ way point, for me) Place in a Dutch oven, and on very low heat, slowly render. This could take up to 3 hours. Remove the crisps with a slotted spoon as they turn deep golden. Place in a strainer, over a bowl. Salt lightly. Let the pork fat cool, but not so it begins to solidify. Ladle into containers, and freeze.

Now, you can make your own Jana’s Potato Pancakes.