Since tomorrow is Passover, it's time for a special edition :) This year I found myself making my first gefilte fish all from scratch, and I have to admit - it's not as scary as people make it out to be! So what's gefilte fish all about? It's a traditional dish of European Jews, usually served on holidays, but good any time of the year. It's basically a ground fish patty, often served with horse radish and some of the jelly from the fish stock in which it cooked. The patties are made out of Carp and the biggest challenge in the preparation of this dish is the surgical part - you have to separate all the bones from the meat! Of course, if someone can clean the fish for you, you're whole battle is won, otherwise, give yourself plenty of prep time... Brought to you by grandma's secret family recipe from the good old days in Kishinev, happy Passover!
2 kg carp meat (4.4lbs)
1 kg onion (2.2 lbs)
2 tbsp matzo meal
4 tea biscuits
1 cup soda water
½ tsp baking soda
1. Take a whole carp, skin it, separate all the bones out of the meat. Save the bones, head, and skin. Make sure that the meat, after you clean the fish weighs 2kg (4.4lbs). It took me 2 carps, each weighing close 5lbs, so don't be fooled by the fish's initial weight! If you have less, adjust the quantities ratios appropriately.
2. Chop the onions coarsely and sauté until they becomes translucent but not brown.
3. Pass the meat and half the onions through a meat grinder.
4. Once ground, add eggs, biscuit crumbs, matzo meal, soda, soda water, and salt and pepper to taste (be generous!). However, if making this on passover - biscuits are not kosher so replace with 2 more tbsp of matzo meal.
5. Beat very very well for 4-5 minutes until the texture is almost fluffy. Form patties and wrap each patty in the fish skin as seen in the picture.
6. Slightly fry each patty in oil until both sides are golden, but only on the outside.
7. Separately in a large pot, place the remaining onion, coarsely cut carrots, whole peeled beet, salt and pepper, and cover with 2-3L of water. Cook for 30 minutes.8. Place the patties in the cooked fish stock and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
9. When ready remove the patties and pass the stock through a strainer to isolate the bones. Pour the stock over the patties and refrigerate together to create the jelly.
10. Serve with horse radish and jelly, enjoy!