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Kartoffel Kugel (Ashkenazic Potato Pudding)

['1/2 cup schmaltz or vegetable oil', '6 medium or 4 large russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled', '2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 1 cup)', '3 large eggs, lightly beaten', 'About 1 teaspoon salt', 'Ground black pepper to taste', '1/4 cup gribenes (poultry cracklings) or grated carrot, optional', 'About 1/3 cup matza meal or all-purpose flour']

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish in the oven.
Coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish with 1/4 cup of the schmaltz or oil and return to the oven until very hot, about 15 minutes.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl of lightly salted cold water. (This keeps them from discoloring.) Grate the potates into the onions, stirring to mix.
Stir in the eggs, remaining 1/4 cup schmaltz or oil, salt, pepper, and, if desired, gribenes or carrot. Add enough matza meal or flour to bind the batter.
Pour into the heated dish and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour. Although this is best when warm, the leftovers can be served at room temperature.

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