Lithuanian cepelinai: Potato dumplings with mushroom sauce & bacon

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
Try a taste of this Baltic state’s cuisine with these zeppelin-shaped dumplings, filled with pork mince and served with creamy mushrooms

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 488
  • fat 32g
  • saturates 18g
  • carbs 26g
  • sugars 2g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 23g
  • salt 0.7g


  • 400g waxy potatoes (we used Charlotte)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 250g pork mince
  • ½ tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • green vegetables
  • crusty bread


  1. Divide the potatoes into 2 batches. Chop one batch into large chunks and boil for 15-20 mins until tender, then drain and mash. Finely grate the remaining potatoes using the smallest blade on a grater and tip into a large bowl lined with a clean tea towel. Bring the edges of the tea towel together and squeeze tightly to expel any liquid; keep 2 tbsp of this juice and discard the rest. In another large mixing bowl, add the reserved potato juice, the grated potato, mashed potato and half of the beaten egg. Beat everything together well, season, set aside to cool, then chill while you prepare the filling.

  2. Mix together the shallot, pork mince, caraway seeds, garlic, remaining egg and some seasoning.

  3. Mix 1 tbsp of flour into your potato mixture and divide into 8. Dust the work surface with flour and make sure there is flour on your hands too, as the mixture can be quite sticky. Lightly shape the potato dough into flat round patties, approximately 1cm thick. Put 1 heaped tsp of the pork filling in the middle of each patty, then gently pull the dough up and around to encase the pork and form a dumpling. Roll them in your hands to achieve the signature zeppelin shape. Repeat with the rest of the patties and filling.

  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully lower in the dumplings, cover and simmer gently for 30 mins. Keep an eye on this - the water must not boil or the dumplings won't hold their shape.

  5. Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp, then chop into very small pieces and set aside. To make the sauce, pour 100ml of boiling water over the dried porcini and leave to stand for 5 mins. In a saucepan, heat the butter and add the shallots, frying gently until they are soft and translucent. Add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for 5 mins more. When they are cooked, pour in 1 tbsp of the liquor from the porcini and discard the rest. Chop the porcini and add them to the pan. Fold in the crème fraîche, bring to a simmer, then season.

  6. Put 2 dumplings on each plate and pour over the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle the dill and bacon pieces over just before serving with green veg and crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

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