|Rooty rislaf with grilled haloumi - so good it cracked the plate!|
The reprieve of the shopping centre is good news for Mamuśka, obviously, not only because they can keep their premises, on the upper level by the escalator, but also because the area is about to turn into a huge building site with hundreds of big hungry boys working on it, a sizeable proportion of whom are bound to be Polish.
Poles are famously big on beetroot and Mamuśka serves it hot & shredded, mixed with a touch of cream, for a quid. So, should you go there to eat pierogis (for instance) don't miss the buraczki na ciepło. I'm still waiting to try Mama's borscht and see how it compares to my Soup Kitchen borscht of five years ago. I had high hopes after reading a review that said Mamuśka's version was vegetarian (i.e.: not made with beef stock), but a cup of their beetroot both, barzcz, brought me down to earth with a bump. It's not as if it's not good, that's the problem: it's too delicious. It is so lip-smackingly rich because it's made with pork stock. "It used to be vegetarian, but we've improved the recipe," the lovely lady behind the counter told me with a smile, like it was the punchline to a Polish joke.
|Buraczki with a full portion of Mama's pierogis|
I got a couple of bunches of beets and my Assistant peeled them when she visited on Thursday. I roasted them off that evening and kept them in the 'fridge. She also chopped a mirepoix of finely-diced onion, carrot & celery, which I sweated off also and put in the 'fridge until I was ready to use it a couple of days later.
|Pearl barley gives a chewier texture.|
I also wanted to incorporate pearl barley, because I like its chewy texture and I think it's appropriate, seasonally. So, in a pan, I reheated the pre-cooked mirepoix with a few cloves of roasted garlic (which I keep in a jar, covered with oil) and made up a litre of vegetable bouillon. I put a couple of tablespoons each of short grain brown rice and pearl barley grains in with the sweated veg, mix and began to slowly add the bouillon, stirring all the while.
It went on for some time, stirring, adding more stock, occasionally covering the pot. The pearl barley takes longer to cook than the rice and had to stand for a while, to infuse. Next time, I'll soak it for a good few hours first. I cubed the roasted beetroot, adding it in the final five minutes of cooking.
P.S.: Some time later, I found this Polish vegan cookery blog!