Potato Pancakes With Meat Filling – Картофельные Блины с Мясом / Драники

Potato Pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes and onions are such a treat. They are golden and crisp on the outside and so tender they just melt in your mouth. They can be made with just potatoes and onions, but adding a meat filling takes this delicious comfort food to the next level. 

I confess; potato pancakes are my weakness. No matter how many different types of food that I cook and love, potato pancakes still remain my favorite. My Mom would make these on Saturday mornings, and I can still picture her standing next to the stove, making batch after batch as we all sat around the kitchen table, smacking our lips as we forked down the golden and crispy potato cakes.

You can make the potato pancakes without the meat (you’ll have double the amount of pancakes), and that’s what I usually do, but adding meat will ensure a hearty meal with protein. (Besides, my husband likes to have meat with every meal, so I kind of have to if I’m serving them for dinner. He claims that if there is no meat, he will be hungry again in half and hour:). These are definitely worth any of the effort that goes into making them.

Instructions:

What Type Of Potatoes Should You Use?

My personal favorite potatoes for potato pancakes are Yukon Gold potatoes. They have the perfect starch content, not too much and not too little. I have tried pancakes with many others, and Yukon Golds always turn out a better texture and color – they don’t brown as quickly as the Russets. I think the flavor is the best with gold potatoes too.

What Should You Use Grate the Potatoes? Box Grater vs. Food Processor

The oldest method for these pancakes is to use the smallest setting on a box grater. This is what I prefer to use.

I think the texture is great when you use a box grater; I use the finest holes on a box grater, which grates the potatoes into a really fine texture, almost a puree, but there are still tiny, thin strands of potatoes.

I grate 3/4 of the potato on the finest side and then I grate the remaining 1/4 of the potatoes on the second finest holes of the box grater – this helps me not too grate my fingers, but also produces a small amount of shredded potatoes in the batter, which makes the texture as perfect as it can get. 

You can also use a food processor, pulsing the potatoes until they are a fine consistency.

Making the Potato Batter

Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater, or use a food processor to pulse the potatoes and onions until they are a fine consistency.

Add the egg, flour, sour cream, salt and ground black pepper to the bowl with the potatoes and onions, mixing to combine.

If you’re using a food processor, add all these ingredients to the food processor and pulse a few times until the batter is evenly mixed.

Onions in the Potato Pancakes

Not only is the addition of onion in the potato pancakes delicious, but the onion helps to keep the potatoes from browning too quickly. Yes, you can skip the onion if you don’t like the flavor, but your pancake batter will turn brown/gray fairly quickly.

Can You Make Potato Pancakes Without Eggs, Flour and/or Sour Cream?

In short, yes. Some people swear that you only need grated potato and onion to make potato pancakes, and I’ve actually make them without all of these additions multiple times when cooking for vegan family/friends.

However, the consistency of the pancakes will be different. They will be harder to work with and they will be very delicate and will rip very easily, especially when you are frying them and then taking them out of the pan.

Use a spoon to get rid of most of the excess liquid that will pool at the top of the pancake batter. Don’t get rid of all the liquid, keeping some of it, so the potato batter isn’t too dry. This will make it easier to spread out in the skillet. If there is too much liquid, the potato pancakes will sizzle and spit a lot more when fried.


The Meat Filling:

You can use any ground meat that you like – ground pork, beef, chicken, turkey, etc.

Add the grated onion, salt, ground black pepper and water to the meat and mix together in a bowl and set aside. (I use half of a large onion in the potato pancake batter and grate the remaining half into the meat.) You can also add any of your favorite spices, herbs and seasonings to the meat for extra flavor.

Cooking the Potato Pancakes

Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Using a large spoon, portion out four pancakes, spreading them out into oval or circular shapes.

 

Cook on medium high heat until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.

If you are making Potato Pancakes without the filling, you should get 20-24 pancakes out of this amount of batter. 

For the meat filled potato pancakes, shape 1-2 Tablespoons of meat filling into a patty and place on top of the potato pancakes. The meat patty should be thin, so that it cooks through quickly. Using damp hands helps the meat mixture not to stick to your hands too much. 

Spoon more potato batter over the meat, covering it completely.  

Cook on medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side. You will have about 12 meat filled potato pancakes.

The cooked potato pancakes can be kept warm in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit while you are cooking the rest of the pancakes.

Serve with butter, sour cream, green onions/dill and/or applesauce. Potato pancakes are best served fresh, not made in advance.

Print

Potato Pancakes With Meat Filling

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pancakes 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course

Description

Potato Pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes and onions are such a treat. They are golden and crisp on the outside and so tender they just melt in your mouth. They can be made with just potatoes and onions, but adding a meat filling takes this delicious comfort food to the next level.


Scale

Ingredients

Potato Pancakes:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 large)
  • 1 small onion or half of a large onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/41 tsp tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • sunflower oil (for frying the pancakes)

Meat Filling:

  • 1/2 lb ground pork (or any other ground meat that you like)
  • 1 small onion (finely grated or half of a large onion)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • other seasonings (herbs or spices, optional)

Instructions

  1. Grate the potatoes and onion on the finest holes of a box grater, or use a food processor to pulse the potatoes and onions until they are a fine consistency.
  2. Use a spoon to get rid of most of the excess liquid that will pool at the top of the pancake batter. Don't get rid of all the liquid, keeping some of it, so the potato batter isn't too dry. This will make it easier to spread out in the skillet. If there is too much liquid, the potato pancakes will sizzle and spit a lot more when fried.
  3. Add the egg, flour, sour cream, salt and ground black pepper to the bowl with the potatoes and onions, mixing to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, add the grated onion, salt, ground black pepper and water to the meat and mix together in a bowl and set aside. (I use half of a large onion in the potato pancake batter and grate the remaining half into the meat.) You can also add any of your favorite spices, herbs and seasonings to the meat for extra flavor.
  5. Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Using a large spoon, portion out four pancakes.
  6. Cook on medium high heat until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. If you are making Potato Pancakes without the filling, you should get 20-24 pancakes out of this amount of batter.
  7. For the meat filled potato pancakes, shape 1-2 Tablespoons of meat filling into a patty and place on top of the potato pancakes. The meat patty should be thin, so that it cooks through quickly. Using damp hands helps the meat mixture not to stick to your hands too much. Spoon more potato batter over the meat, covering it completely.
  8. Cook on medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side. You will have about 12 meat filled potato pancakes.
  9. Serve with butter, sour cream or applesauce. Potato pancakes are best served fresh, not made in advance.

This is an updated version of the Potato Pancakes With Meat Filling recipe that was published originally on November 30, 2011. The recipe is the same with updated pictures.

25 Comments

  • Natalia P

    I used to grate them by hand until I got a kitchenaid food processor. So much time saved and tastes just as good. Also potao mix never turns dark color on me since the process takes less time. Now i make regular potato pancakes much more often Havent used a grater in about 2 years 😉

    • olgak7

      Have no fear, Nadia. I wouldn’t post a recipe with raw meat:).
      The meat filling is very thin, so it takes only a few minutes to cook through. If you are especially nervous, cook for a little bit longer on low heat in a covered skillet. Of course, if you fill it with a meatball sized chunk of meat, it won’t cook through, but in this case, you have nothing to worry about.

  • Svetlana

    Hi, Olga I have recently found your site and love it, I made some of the dishes they are all delicious. I always cook this but never had them with meat, will try. I add a tsp-tsp of lemon juice to keep it white, works every time.

  • Nina

    Hi, Olechka!
    Thanks much for this recipe I do the same but add a little baking soda to potato pancakes that makes them puffy and another tip I use my juicer to ground potatoes and onion together ( it safe my time) because don’t have kitchenaid food processor. For meat filling I simple grated meat , onion and a little garlic (optional) in my chopper. My Granny thought me this way. Also after we cooked pancakes we just put them in the pot add a little boiling water and cooked 3-5 more minutes on low heat. It’s better for your stomach and you will be sure meat cooked.
    I know this is traditional belarussian food and every Belarussian cooked them at her or his way. We love these pancakes and I totally agree with you, this is our favorite recipe too.
    However I never pour off the potato liquid just add more flour to pancakes that’s it!
    Again, every person cooked them different.

  • Tallya

    These are my absolute favorite food! I haven’t made them in a long time and I better have potatoes, any potatoes in my pantry right now because now I have to have these tomorrow!

  • Tallya

    Hi Olga. I noticed that in your newer recipe for potato pancakes with sour cream and smoked salmon you used only 3 potatoes but the same amount of flour, egg, and sour cream as in this recipe which calls for 6 potatoes. Is that correct?

    • olgak7

      It really doesn’t matter. It won’t make much of a difference either way, Tallya. I just wanted the potato pancakes that I made to be used as an appetizer to be slightly more firm, since they also have toppings on them.

  • Alinarn

    Hi Olga,
    I tried your recipe today for potato pancakes (“dryaniki” as we call them) and they were delicious! I did the plain ones without the meat filling. This will be my go to recipe for potato pancakes from now on! Of course I eat them with a healthy dollop of sour cream on the side 🙂
    I am 12 weeks pregnant and ended up making half of your recipe at midnight today because I was craving them, and I ate the whole thing!! Yum thank you

    • olgak7

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the Draniki:). We make these all the time.
      Congratulations! Babies are such a blessing. (I also craved potato pancakes when I was pregnant during the few times I wasn’t nauseous.)

    • olgak7

      No, I haven’t tried mayo. I like the sour cream. The acidity in the sour cream helps to keep the potatoes from browning and makes the pancakes a little bit more tender.

  • Alison

    I don’t know what went wrong when I tried to make this. Took wayy longer to fry than specified, so I ended up turning up the heat, but still couldn’t get it to cook through all the potato with the meat added. Finally I just mixed in the meat mixture with the potato batter, to make regular thin pancakes out of it.
    Still took forever and left the middle very soft. Tasted all right but I won’t be repeating this :[ I’ve never had potato pancakes before, let alone filled ones, so it also doesn’t help having no personal frame of reference, but following directions as written simply didn’t work out at all for me. I’m giving 2 stars just in case the problem has to do with me having no idea what these are supposed to be like.

    • olgak7

      Hi Allison.
      I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. Since you have never tried potato pancakes on their own, I would recommend making them without the filling first.
      I’m also guessing that you may have used more pancake batter and meat filling than was needed and that is why they took too long to cook through.
      The potato layer and meat layer need to be really thin in order for this recipe to work.
      I hope you give these another try:).

      • alison

        Thanks for replying, Olga!! Indeed, I think the layers were too thick when I tried the original recipe. When I mixed the batter with the meat, the resulting patties were very thin and still had trouble cooking through, but I wonder if the meat caused that issue in the end then ? I appreciate you reaching out to help! Maybe I’ll try again one day.

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