Tag: Pork Recipe

Legendary Dishes | Attignole (baked pork meatballs in pork jelly)

FRANCE

These tasty meatballs are a tradition of Normandy, made by the butchers of the region. Some butchers bake the mixture like a cake and cut it into pieces. One of these days we are going to persuade a Normandy butcher to share their ‘secret’ recipe. In the meantime this is the Fricot interpretation.

  • 500 g pork jelly
  • 500 g pork, minced
  • 500 ml water, hot
  • 400 g fatty pork belly, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 g white bread soaked in 120 g milk
  • 100 g flour
  • 90 g onions, chopped small
  • 75 g shallots, chopped small
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 sage leaves, sliced

Combine the pork belly and pork mince, work in the soaked bread. Follow with the onions and shallots, the work in the eggs, sage and seasonings.

Using wet hands divide the mixture into pieces that weigh between 25 grams and 30 grams, they do not have to be an even amount.

Roll the pieces in the flour to form balls.

Put the pork jelly into a baking tray. Place the meatballs in the jelly. Sprinkle remaining flour over the meatballs.

Bake the meatballs in the jelly at 200ºC for 20 minutes.

Remove tray from oven, pour hot water over the meatballs, bake for a further 20 minutes at 220ºC.

Remove tray from oven, turn meatballs onto pale side, bake for 15 minutes to brown the other side.

Leave to cool.

Serve the meatballs cold in their cooking juices with bread.


Traditional Dishes | Boller i Karry Sovs (meatballs in curry sauce)

DENMARK

There is no debate in Denmark about the basic recipe for curry sauce. It is flour and curry powder melted in butter and gently simmered into a thick or thin sauce with a liquid medium that will be milk for general preparations or the cooking liquid of the meatballs with this dish, a family favourite, made with commercial curry powder that is mild and mellow, with just a hint of spice.

For many years meatballs in curry sauce was a tame affair. The meatballs were made with a combination of pork and veal, loosened with egg and a large quanitity of milk offset by white wheat flour, and flavoured with onions or shallots and black pepper and salt. The ingredients for the sauce remained constant.

Gradually this began to change. Intrepid home cooks and innovative restaurant chefs began to experiment. The onions or shallots were puréed in a small amount of milk and the flour was omitted. This method produced harder meatballs that had a stronger meat taste. Suddenly the meatballs that were accompanied with curry sauce fell into two categories.

  1. Soft meatballs with a mellow meat taste served with a mild milky curry sauce.
  2. Hard meatballs with a strong meat taste served with a strong aromatic curry sauce.

Inevitably the two versions began to merge. Apple flavour in the shape of cooking apples and apple vinegar became essential ingredients. Milk was replaced with chicken, meat or vegetable stock. Garlic added an aromatic flavour. Cream was used to balance the flavours in the strong version. The sauce began to include onions and then shallots were preferred and gradually the quantity was increased. The curry power was made fresh or commercial preparations from the Indian sub-continent were preferred over the Danish packets.

This is our interpretation of the traditional dish, with a home made curry sauce.

Curry Powder

  • 10 g turmeric powder
  • 5 g allspice, ground
  • 5 g cumin seeds, ground
  • 5 g fenugreek seeds, ground
  • 5 g garlic powder
  • 5 g icing sugar
  • 5 g mango powder
  • 5 g paprika, ground
  • Cinnamon, ground, large pinch
  • Ginger, ground, large pinch

Grind the seeds in a blender, add the ground spices, blend for a few seconds, until there is an even colour.


Meatballs

  • 500 g pork mince or 250 g pork plus 250 g beef or veal
  • 75 g onion, puréed in 60 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g white wheat flour
  • Salt, large pinch
  • White pepper, large pinch

Curry Sauce

  • 600 ml cooking water from meatballs
  • 75 g onion, finely chopped
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g curry powder
  • 15 g white wheat flour
  • Salt, pinch
  • White pepper, large pinch

Combine the minced meat, puréed onion, egg, flour and seasonings. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Form meatball mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place in hot water a few at a time and cook for 10 minutes until they are firm.

Sweat onion in butter for about 15 minutes. Add curry powder and flour. Add meatball cooking water, whisk into a smooth emulsion, reduce into a thick or thin sauce.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper and carefully add the meatballs. Leave to allow the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Serve with rice and a green vegetable.


Legendary Dishes | Frikadeller (pork meatballs)

DENMARK
  • 500 g pork, minced
  • 100+ ml milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp of flour
  • Butter, small piece
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Black Pepper, ground, pinch

Combine mince, onions, egg, flour and seasoning. Mix thoroughly and add the milk, little at a time. When the mixture makes a thack thack sound when you beat it, then it is the right consistency. It should be moist. Put in fridge for at least an hour.

Heat the oil in a pan and add butter. When the oil is warm, dip a big spoon (a tablespoon would suffice) in the mixture and form the frikadelles into an oval shape using the spoon and your hand. They should be more oval than round shaped.

After each frikadelle, dip the spoon in the hot oil so that the next frikadelle slips off the spoon into the pan.

Flatten the frikadelles slightly.

Fry gently until cooked though, about five minutes on each side. They should be still moist and spongy when served.

Danes serve frikadelles with potato salad and eat them cold on rye bread the next day.

Variations are more or less flour and oatmeal or breadcrumbs.


Legendary Dishes | Cinghiale Dolceforte (meat in chocolate sauce)

ITALY

A significant event in food history was the founding in 1512 of the curiously named Compagnia del Paiolo (company of the cauldron) by Giovan Francesco Rustici in Renaissance Florence.

The motto of the company was l‘arte si fa a cena (the art of dining). It innocently sought culture and conviviality, good taste and simplicity, frankness and friendliness.

Rustici was a painter and sculptor, friend of Andrea del Sarto and Leonardo de Vinci and cousin to Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici (later Pope Clement). At small banquets the members of the company, which included the imaginative gastronome del Sarto, had an obligation to bring a dinner of their own invention and if two had had the same thought they were sentenced to a penalty.

Among the dishes featured by the Paiolanti and possibily one that would have attracted a penalty is this typically Tuscan wild boar dish, with a preparation as old as the Tuscan hills that surround Florence.

Presented in one of the dolceforte (sweet-strong) sauces favoured by the Romans, this dish is making a comeback, albeit with pork (as well as boar). This is an adaptation of the original 1500s recipe.

For the story of the ancient Compagnia del Paiolo, we recommend journalist Pier Francesco Listri’s book.

  • 1 kg boar / pork, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 350 ml red wine
  • 200 g carrots, cubed small
  • 180 g prosciutto / cured ham, cubed small
  • 150 g shallots, chopped small
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • 75 g raisins
  • 65 g candied peel
  • 65 g chocolate 75%, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 20 ml red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp chestnut flour
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 25 black peppercorns
  • Lovage, 3 large sprigs, chopped small
  • Parsley, large bunch, leaves and stalks separated, chopped
  • Rosemary, 3 large sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Marinade meat in black peppercorns, red wine, red wine vinegar and bay leaves overnight.

Sauté carrots, celery, onions, garlic, prosciutto, lovage, parsley stalks and rosemary in oil in a large saucepan until the vegetables are soft.

Drain soaking liquid from meat, brown a few pieces at a time in a little oil in a separate frying pan.

Transfer meat to the large saucepan with the vegetables.

Add a little flour to the frying pan that contained the meat, deglaze with some of the marinade liquid.

Put the meat and its liquid into the large saucepan, cover and cook over a low heat until the meat is tender, about 90 minutes, adding more liquid as necessary.

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, candied peel, chocolate, pine nuts and raisins.

When the meat is cooked add the chocolate mixture to the large saucepan, cook uncovered over a low heat for 20 minutes.


Indigenous Ingredients

Bay Leaf
Boar
Candied Peel
Chestnut
Lovage
Olive Oil
Pine Nut
Prosciutto 
Raisin
Red Wine Vinegar
Wine

Legendary Dishes | Mėsos Vyniotinis su Kiaušiniais (meat-coated hard-boiled eggs)

LITHUANIA

Coating an egg with a flavoured meat mixture is a traditional recipe that got away in most food cultures.

Now known as a Scotch egg, this delectable home-made delicacy became indelicate when the commercial versions jumped off the shelves, ready to eat.

This is the Lithuanian version.

  • 250 g pork, minced
  • 250 g beef, minced
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled
  • 1 gherkin, pickled, chopped small
  • 1 carrot, cubed small
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp oregano, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 g fresh dill, fresh, chopped
  • 10 g coriander, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, pinch

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Combine the meat with the egg yolk, carrots, gherkin, herbs, saffron and seasonings.

Divide meat mixture into four portions, place one portion on a rectangle of cling film, flatten, put egg on top.

Use the cling film to shape the meat around the egg.

Repeat with remaining eggs and portions.

Arrange eggs on a greased tray.

Bake for an hour.


Legendary Dishes | Bottaggio (pork casserole in sour-sweet sauce)

ITALY

This is a mini-bottaggio made with beans, cabbage, potatoes, pork belly and fresh pork sausages in an aromatic tomato sauce

The art of braising vegetables with meat in an aromatic stock has lost none of its allure among rural communities where pork, leaf vegetables and root vegetables are essential ingredients in the indigneous food culture.

Pot cooking is still an integral aspect of the traditional food culture in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, where every part of the pig is utilised in a variety of dishes and vegetables are used for their specific properties.

Combining a battuto of carrots, celery and onions with the poorer parts of the pig, pork products, herbs and spices, water and cabbage or potatoes to produce a creamy potage that is neither soup nor stew is still popular in northern Italy.

This ancient tradition goes by many names.

In Lombardy it is generally known as bottaggio or potage and cooked using a method thousands of years old.

In some regions potage is regarded as a medieval food. Restaurant chefs keen to infuse dishes with their creative juices enjoy the potage challenge, flavouring duck and goose with sour and sweet flavours.

But it is the bottaggio made with cabbage and pork that is still a dish of high esteem.

What is interesting is the debate over the origins of this dish. Some food historians believe it is a product of the Spanish when they ruled Lombardy and Naples. They trace it to specific mentions in the cookbooks of the 1600s and 1700s.

Others point to the Medicis in Florence, while some insist it is nothing more than a tradition that has existed in Europe since Roman times when wild boar played a huge role in feast and festive occasions among those who lived in tribal communities.

We have looked at the various interpretations including the ancient traditions and have arrived at this version.

Stock

  • 4 litres water
  • 1 pig head
  • 4 pigs feet
  • 4 pigs ears
  • 200 g pork belly rind
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Place all ingredients in a very large pot, bring to the boil, remove scum, reduce heat and cook over a low heat for six hours, strain.

  • 3 kg cabbage, cut into strips
  • 3 litres stock
  • 1.5 kg pork ribs
  • 12 fresh pork sausages, pricked
  • 500 g carrots, diced
  • 500 g celery, diced
  • 500 g onions, chopped small
  • 400 g prunes
  • 400 g salami, cut into slices
  • 350 g plum tomatoes, skinned
  • 100 g pork belly / bacon, cubed
  • 75 ml dry white wine
  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g olive oil
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Melt butter into oil in a large pot over a low heat, add carrots, celery, onions and pork belly or bacon pieces.

Increase heat to high and cook for ten minutes. Remove pot from heat, deglaze with wine.

Put pot back on heat, add ribs, salami and sausages. Stir for a couple of minutes, add tomatoes and stock (less if you want a thick pottage), bring slowly to the boil.

Reduce heat to low, add cabbage and cook for two hours.

Add prunes and seasonings, cook for thirty minutes.

Serve with polenta.


Legendary Dishes | Pâté Gaumais (pork pie)

BELGIUM

Virton butchers Leroux-Subitte are credited with the invention of this aromatic pork pie toward the end of the 1800s, a tradition that has continued with the butchers of the region.

The pastry, which is often sweetened, is prepared with a yeast dough. Generally the pastry is the domain of bakers and the filling and marinade the speciality of butchers, although some butchers prepare their own pastry.

Recipes for home-made pies are a closely-guarded secret and coveted by family and friends.

The filling is traditionally associated with loin meat with some rib and belly meat. It is cut into pieces no larger than two centimetre cubes, then marinated for at least 48 hours.

The marinade will include red or white wine and vinegar flavoured with carrots, garlic, onions or shallots and various herbs and spices from bay, black pepper, clove, juniper, parsley, sage and thyme plus salt.

Pâté Gaumais is eaten hot, usually an hour after baking, or cold and can be re-heated.

It is celebrated every December 26 in Virton with the King of Pâté Gaumais competition for the highest amount consumed in one sitting.

Marinade

  • 1 kg pork loin and rib meat, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 500 g shallots, sliced thin
  • 125 g dry white wine / red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 tsp wine vinegar
  • 15 g black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 10 g salt
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 5 sprigs parsley, chopped small
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 5 rosemary spears, chopped small
  • 3 bay leaves

Marinate meat for 48 hours over two nights. Turn the meat from time to time.

Dough

  • 500 g white wheat flour, t45
  • 150 g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 100 ml milk, warmed to 38ºC
  • 50 g yeast
  • 15 g lard
  • 15 g sugar (optional)
  • 5 g salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add yeast mixture and eggs to the flour to make a loose dough. Work the butter into the dough in stages, finish with the lard, knead into a smooth dough, about 20 minutes. Leave to rest for two hours.

Finish

  • 1 egg, beaten

Remove bay leaves, juniper berries, sage and thyme from the marinade. Drain the liquid, leave to rest for 30 minutes, use paper towels to absorb any moisture on the meat.

Divide the dough into four pieces, cover and set aside. Take one piece and divide into two, shape into balls, one larger than the other, then into rounds.

Place a quarter of the meat mixture on the larger round, place the small round on top.

Fold the edge of the larger round into the edge of the smaller round in the crimp style.

Put the pie on a greased tray, make a small hole in the centre of the surface.

Repeat with remaining dough and meat mixture. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Brush the egg yolk over the surface of each pie.

Bake for 60 minutes until the pies are golden brown on top.


Pâté Gaumais is produced and sold at these outlets.

BAILLOT Brothers Rue Dr. Hustin, 55 at 6760 Ethe 063/577 246
BIT Xavier Grand Rue, 43 to 6760 Virton 063/577 224
BLAISE Cured meats Place Albert 1er, 4 at 6820 Florenville 061/311 951
DE MATOS Adolfo - EUROVIANDE Place G. Lorand, 3 at 6760 Virton 063/578 870
DROPSY Roland Ruelle Giffe, 2 at 6747 Saint-Léger 063/457 300
FELSCH Didier Rue du Vieux Sart, 2 at 6769 Meix-devant-Virton 063/577 421
HOLTZHEIMER Jean Industry Street, 2 at 6792 Halanzy 063/678 579
LEFEBVRE Yvon Rue René Nicolas, 3 at 6750 Musson 063/675 747
MARECHAL Adelin Grand Rue, 88 to 6769 Gérouville 063/577 538
PEIGNOIS Claude - The heart of the Gaume Rue Dr. Hustin, 51 at 6760 Ethe 063/581 804
ROMAIN Jean-Claude Station Street, 7 at 6820 Florenville 061/311 112
THIERY Frédéric Rue du Moulin, 5 to 6750 Mussy-La-Ville 063/677 738
THOMAS Andre Rue de Neufchâteau, 2 at 6720 Habay-La-Neuve 063/422 139
TOCK Jules Grand Rue, 218 to 6740 Sainte-Marie 063/455 396

Indigenous Ingredients

Butter
Eggs
Pork
Shallots
Wine

Legendary Dishes | Frtajla (mushroom and sausage pancake)

SLOVENIA

The Kransky sausage courtesy of Loške Mesnine – one of the official Kranjska klobasa makers


Slovenia’s famous Kransky sausage is now protected by the European Union’s geographical indicator status, which means only 14 butchers are allowed to produce it to specific standards. The modern ‘official’ version is made with bacon and pork.

If you want to make it yourself this recipe is for a more rustic version. And you will need to make your own version of the sausage because this pancake won’t work without it.

Of course sometime in the future you could just take a run over to Ljubljana and taste the real thing.

Sausages

  • 5 kg pork leg and shoulder, one third fat meat to two thirds lean meat, cut small
  • 150 g salt
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 g black pepper

Soak garlic in wine for two hours. Thoroughly work the seasonings into the meat, add the garlic and wine, grind. Fill in sausage casings, hang for three days in a cold smoked room.

Pancakes

  • 240 g white wheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Kransky sausage, diced small
  • 100 g assorted mushrooms, diced small
  • 60 ml milk
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp marjoram, chopped
  • Salt, pinch

Blend eggs and milk into the flour and salt. Add marjoram.

Pour batter into a hot frying pan covered with one tablespoon of olive oil.

Add mushrooms and sausages, fry until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the batter.

Turn onto a plate, put remaining oil in pan, slip in the pancake and fry uncooked side.


Indigenous Ingredients

Kranjska Klobasa (Kransky Sausage)

Legendary Dishes | Pastitsio (pasta bake)

CAUCASUS CYPRUS GREECE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Tourists visiting the Mediterranean islands of Crete, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily and Sardinia might be forgiven for thinking there is an ad hoc competition among their restaurants to see who produces the best pasta bake. The Greeks of course will tell you their pastitsio is the best and the rest are mere imitations.

And there is the dilemma, each chef – domestic and professional – has their own interpretation, albeit subtle tweaks that are not always discernable.

We have favoured an eastern Mediterranean sensibility with cheese custard for the topping rather than a white sauce, thick tube pasta cooked and dressed with eggs and cheese, and a meat filling flavoured with onion, marjoram, mint, parsley and thyme.

Pasta

  • 500 g penne / rigatoni pasta
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 90 g hard cheese
  • 60 g butter
  • 5 g black pepper
  • Salt, large pinch
  • 2 gratings of nutmeg

Meat

  • 750 g beef / lamb / pork mince
  • 250 g onion, thin sliced
  • 125 ml meat stock
  • 45 ml dry white wine
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 sprigs parsley, chopped small
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped small
  • 5 sprigs marjoram
  • 5 sprigs thyme

Topping

  • 1 litre full-fat milk
  • 500 g halloumi cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 45 g cornflour
  • 30 ml water

Finish

  • 90 g kefalotiri cheese / hard cheese, grated
  • Butter, for greasing

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Melt butter and pour over the pasta. Add the cheese and seasonings, toss, add eggs and toss again. Set aside.

Sauté onion in oil for 10 minutes, add the meat and cook until brown. Add the wine, stock, herbs and seasonings, simmer for 20 minutes until almost all of the liquid has been reduced. Leave to cool.

Whisk the eggs and milk for the topping in a pot, bring slowly to the boil. Whisk the water into the cornflour, pour slowly into the egg-milk mixture, heat gradually until the mixture begins to thicken, add the cheese.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease a large baking tray, place half of the pasta mixture on the bottom, follow with the meat mixture, the remaining pasta mixture and the cheese custard. Sprinkle the top with the grated hard cheese.

Bake for 50 minutes.


Legendary Dishes | Zhīma Bǐng hé Zhūròu Mò 芝麻饼和猪肉末 (sesame cake with pork)

CHINA

This is part of Fricot’s Around the World in 80 Dishes series … introduction to follow soon.

Sesame Cakes

  • 625 g white wheat flour
  • 230 ml water, boiled
  • 120 g bean paste
  • 90 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 g sesame seeds, placed in a bowl
  • 50 ml milk, warmed to 38ºC
  • 30 ml water, cold
  • 15 g yeast
  • 10 g salt
  • Oil for deep frying (optional)
  • Sugar water for brushing cakes

Spicy Pork Mince

  • 500 g pork mince, lean
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 10 g black pepper, pinch
  • 2 tsp oil, for frying
  • 5 g salt, pinch
  • A bunch of fresh coriander leaves

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, add 125 grams of flour, stir into a thick paste. Cook gently, stirring continually until it is golden and smooth. Remove and leave to cool.

Dissolve yeast in the warmed milk.

Sieve remaining flour into a bowl, stir in one teaspoon of salt and make a well in the centre. Pour in the hot water and quickly work into the flour, add the cold water and the yeast mixture knead until it is smooth and elastic.

Work the oil dough into the water-yeast dough, leave to rise for two hours.

Divide the dough into 36 equal portions, shape each piece into a ball, press flat into a disc shape. Put a heaped teaspoon of bean paste on a disc, place another disc on top, press to seal the edges. Brush the surface with sugar water, press into the sesame seeds, place on a greased tray. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Leave to rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 220ºC.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Place on a rack.

Sauté mince in the oil in a wok, add rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and seasonings. Stir until there is no liquid left in the wok, stir in the fresh coriander leaves.

Serve the cakes with the pork and coriander.


Legendary Dishes | Kotletki (meat patties with fruit)

NORTHERN EUROPE

No cookbook about traditional European food would be complete without the basic recipe for kotletki, if only as a reminder that meat was once scarce and ingenious ways were always being invented to transform beef or veal, chicken or turkey, lamb or pork into a tasty dish.

Kotletki are variously called patties or rissoles but they were never meat burgers and, despite the common denominators of soaked white bread, breadcrumbs and spices, they were never odd-shaped meatballs.

Kotletki were and are generally made with beef, but these days they are made with whatever ingredients are in the larder. There are no rules about ingredients, just the method.

This version includes a stuffing of fresh apple and dried apricot in a meat and potato casing.

  • 500 g beef, ground
  • 400 g waxy potatoes, baked whole, mashed
  • 1 sweet apple, cored, peeled, puréed
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g dried apricots, chopped small
  • 5 g dill, chopped
  • Salt, pinch
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, pinch
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Oil, for greasing

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine beef, breadcrumbs, dill, egg, potatoes and seasonings.

Combine apple and apricot in a small bowl.

Divide into 90 gram pieces, cut in half and twin.

Dust flour on a clean surface.

Place each half in the flour, press into thin ovals, 10 cm in diameter. Repeat and keep the twin rounds together.

Put a heaped teaspoon of the apple-apricot mixture on one of the twin rounds, place the second on top. Seal the edges and using a fork make indentations around the edges.

Place the kotletki on a greased baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, turn over and bake for a further 15 minutes until they take on some colour and are crisp at the edges.


Other Kotletki.

Legendary Dishes | Solyanka {Солянка} (winter soup pot)

RUSSIA

This winter soup pot is associated with every type of indigenous food across the vast expanse of Russia, from beef and pork meat on the bone, cooked, cured and smoked meats and sausages, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, leaf vegetables like cabbage and kale, plus beans, capers, garlic, lemons, mushrooms, olives, onions, peppers, pickles, sour cream and tomatoes, and seasonings including herbs and spices. Solyanka was one of the traditional food subjects on the food forum Povarenok, specifically this thread. This version is adapted from that conversation.

  • 1.5 litres + 1 litre water
  • 750 g pork chops
  • 600 g onions, sliced
  • 500 g potatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 250 g cabbage, sliced thin
  • 250 g carrots, grated
  • 2 smoked pork sausages, cut into thick slices
  • 2 pickled gherkins, diced small
  • 100 g black olives
  • 100 g smoked pork loin, diced small
  • 4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • 50 g capers
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 30 g dried forest mushrooms, soaked in water overnight
  • 30 ml sour juice from gerkhins
  • 30 ml rapeseed oil / olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste / red pepper paste
  • 15 g boullion / mixed seasonings
  • 2 tsp savory
  • 5 g allspice
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dill
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Lemon slices, for garnish

Place the pork chops in the bottom of a large heavy-base pot, dry fry for a couple of minutes until the chops begin to realise their fat. Turn the chops over and fry until the fat is released. Pour one and half litres of water into the bottom, bring slowly to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave to cool. Remove the meat, shred.

Add one litre of water to the pork cooking liquid. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, sausages, mixed seasonings, black pepper and salt, cover and cook for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes add the herbs, capers, cabbage, gherkins, tomato or red pepper paste and three of the mashed garlic cloves.

While the potatoes are cooking pour the oil into a large frying pan, fry the onions over a medium to low heat for 30 minutes. Add allspice, paprika and remaining garlic clove. Fry for 5 minutes. Add carrots, fry covered over a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Add the juice, reduce for five minutes.

Transfer the mixture from the frying pan into the pot followed by the pork chop meat and pork loin cubes. Heat through.

Serve with the olives, sour cream and lemon slices.

Condiments | Aspic, Jellied Pork, Pork Jelly (Muzhuzhi მუჟუჟი)

GEORGIA EUROPE

Also known as aspic, usually after pork bones are roasted before slow-cooking, pork jelly is an ingredient in pork pies, is often used to flavour a meat terrine and is a fragrant addition to meat and vegetable soup. A traditional dish of Georgia, vinegar from apples or grapes enhances the flavour.

  • 3 litres water
  • Pig head, ears, trotters soaked in water, cleaned
  • 500 g carrots, peeled, cubed
  • 500 g celeriac root, peeled, cubed
  • 500 g shallots, peeled, sliced
  • 60 ml vinegar from apple or wine / white wine (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30 g parsley root, cleaned, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 20 barberries / juniper berries
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp carrageen / gelatine (optional)
  • 5 marjoram sprigs
  • 5 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 2 bay (laurel) leaves
  • Salt

Place pig’s head and other appendages into a large pot, fill with water, bring to the boil, spoon off scum. Cook until the meat falls away, about four hours, strain liquid into a new pot and reserve meat. Tie the marjoram, rosemary and thyme together, attach to pot handle, place in pot.

For jelly add bay leaves, garlic, berries, peppercorns, salt and cooked meat. Simmer for a further 90 minutes, strain liquid into a new pot, increase heat, reduce liquid by two-thirds.

For muzhuzhi, the Georgian jellied pork, reserve the meat for the final stage and use cinnamon in the preparation. Add vinegar or wine to the reduced liquid, pour into molds, add the cooked meat, refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Legendary Dishes | Zrazy {Зразы }(stuffed meat rolls)

BELARUS LITHUANIA MOLDOVA POLAND RUSSIA UKRAINE

Made with chicken or pork or with combinations of the two, the fillings include cheese, eggs, mushrooms, onions and shallots.

This is the chicken version.

Chicken

  • 600 g chicken meat, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 30 ml meat broth
  • black pepper
  • salt

Stuffing

  • 200 g onions
  • 45 g hard cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, mashed
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
  • dill
  • parsley
  • black pepper
  • salt

Finish

  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 30 ml vegetable oil (optional)

Combine chicken with broth, egg and seasonings, leave to rest. Shape into one cm thick cakes. Brown onions in oil, cover and cooked for 15 minutes, leave to cool. Combine onions with hard-boiled eggs, cheese, greens and seasonings, roll into small balls. With wet hands divide the chicken mixture into six pieces, form into balls, push filling mixture into each ball, seal. Shape into oblongs, coat in breadcrumbs, fry until golden or bake in oven at 180ºC for 30 minutes.


Chicken and Pork

This is the chicken and pork version with a mushroom and shallot filling.

  • 300 g chicken thighs, double ground
  • 300 g pork, double ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Filling

  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced and halved
  • 100 g shallots, chopped small
  • 30 g butter / 30 ml rapeseed oil
  • 15 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, large pinch

Finish

  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 45 ml vegetable oil (optional)
  • 30 g butter (optional)

Combine the chicken and pork mince with the eggs, milk and seasonings, knead a little, refrigerate for an hour. Melt butter or oil in a frying pan, sauté shallots for 10 minutes, add mushrooms and cook down, about 10 minutes, add stock, season and leave to cool. Divide into four pieces. Flatten each piece, layer with a quarter of the filling, shape into oblongs, coat in breadcrumbs. Fry in butter and oil until golden or bake in oven at 180ºC for 30 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Holländische Frikandel (Dutch minced meat sausages)

NETHERLANDS

These sausages are enigmatic because they have a curious history. In Belgium and northern France they are called fricadelles, in other areas of France boulette de viande hachée (minced meat ball). However in the Netherlands they are called something else, so bear with us for a few minutes while we explain the history of these enigmatic sausages.

  • 500 g beef, minced
  • 500 g pork, minced
  • 500 g chicken / turkey, minced
  • 200 ml chicken / meat jelly
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g breadcrumbs
  • 100 g onion, chopped small, blended into a pureé with garlic
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped small, blended into a pureé with onion
  • 3 tbsp dried herbs
  • 3 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • 15 cloves, blended or pounded into powder
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, blended or pounded into powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 pieces of clingfilm 30 cm x 20 cm

In a large bowl knead the garlic-onion pureé, seasonings and spices into the minced meat for about ten minutes. Add the eggs and jelly, work into the meat mixture. Finally fold in the breadcrumbs to form a homegenous mixture.

Arrange a sheet of clingfilm on a clean surface. With moist hands place 100 grams of the mixture in the centre of the clingfilm. Wrap the clingfilm over the mixture, shape into 15 cm long sausages. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Replace the clingfilm after seven sausages.

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake the sausages for 35 minutes.