We’re going to eat Pitepalt. Pitepalt? Yes, pitepalt. I hadn’t done my research and had no idea what they were talking about. I chose to keep my mouth shut and wait and see.
What a treat then to discover that we were going to be eating supreme comfort food, lakeside in Lapland. Potato dumplings, fried over an open fire with pork belly (YES! pork belly), and served with butter and the sugared lingonberries that we had just foraged. Rich, robust and nutty, the potato dumplings, heavier than gnocchi but delicious nonetheless, were coated with pork fat, with nuggets of pork belly for company, smothered in butter with the tartness of the lingonberries raising the tone.
BUT, I can’t have any. Well, yes you can. Quick trip to IKEA for the lingonberries or lingonberry jam, and Bob’s your uncle. I can’t help you with the lake though.
This recipe is a variation of one from Paltakademin (the Academy of Palt, an association whose mission it is to spread the word of the pitepalt and help people all over the world to find out about it and enjoy it.
Greta’s Pitepalt (serves 10)
Peel and grate 2 litres of waxy potatoes, preferably almond potatoes but as you’re not in Lapland, Anya or similar will do. Leave in a colander for at least 15 minutes to get rid of some of the moisture.
Mix the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of salt and 1 litre flour.
Cut 1 kg of cured belly of pork into dice.
In a big pan bring to the boil 5 litres of water with 4 tablespoons of salt and a piece of pork rind (optional).
Roll the paltballs (about the size of a walnut) with wet hands. If you want to fill them put some flour on the tips of two fingers, make a whole in the middle of the palt and put in about 1 tablespoon porkdice in each, then roll them again till round.
When they’re ready lower the palts into the boling water and boil on low heat for 45 minutes. Take them up with a slotted spoon. Serve with butter, the pork and lingonberries
If you haven’t filled them and want to fry them you cut up the balls, have a hot pan with loads of butter and fry until they’re golden. Serve with the pork, extra butter and lingonberries. This is also a good way to use up leftovers from filled palt.
The official Palt academy: www.paltakademien.se