Great-Grandma Wargo’s potato pancakes

       By Steve Cichon
       steve@buffalostories.com
       @stevebuffalo

My German ancestors arrived in Buffalo in 1827, and probably brought some version of this potato pancake recipe with them.

I know the recipe I use goes back at least to my German great-grandmother, Jeannette Greiner-Wargo.

Potato pancakes are a messy pain to make, but well worth it, especially when none of the local restaurants that make them don;t taste anything close to this.

GREAT GRANDMA WARGO’S POTATO PANCAKES

5 or 6 medium potatoes
one medium onion
one egg
flour
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for cooking

Peel 5 or 6 medium potatoes, and peel and trim onion.

Using the larger of the two shred sizes of a hand grater, shred the potatoes and the onion in a big bowl.

Add the egg and salt & pepper and mix.

Add enough flour to soak up any liquid in the bowl, stir well. (You will likely have to do this again as more liquid shows up in the bowl while you’re frying.)

Heat a heavy frying pan (I use cast iron) to medium-high, and coat the bottom of the pan with oil.

When the oil is hot, make 3-4 inch pancakes. Let the edges brown, flip once.

Put pancakes on paper towel covered plate to allow grease to drain.

Coat bottom of pan with oil again, repeat. Add flour and mix well if there is liquid in the bowl.

Grandma Coyle always served them with homemade applesauce… which was deliciously easy— apples cut into inch cubes into a sauce pan, covered with sugar, and then covered with water, turned on low and let it simmer.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.