Tag Archives: beef

Golubtsi – Russian stuffed cabbage rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls is a very popular dish in many countries over the world. In Russia, it’s called ‘golubtsi’ – white cabbage leaves stuffed with sautéed ground pork or beef and rice or buckwheat.
 Originally, cabbage leaves were stuffed with meat mixed with millet porridge and the dish was named ‘galushi’. But in 18-19th centuries France had a great influence on Russian cuisine, at least for the upper classes. Many French chefs streamed to Russian to work for royal courts, nobility and other wealthy families. Russian Golubtsi
 French cooking was so prevalent among the upper classes that there were not enough French-born chefs to fill the demand. Wealthy Russians began to send their serfs to work under French chefs in Moscow and Sr.Petersburg, and a few were even sent to France for their training. Some of these peasants were allowed to work in the city, provided they remitted to their masters the required obrok or quit-rent, which was a payment in kind or in money. Others were sold after they had completed their training. Count Rostov in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, for instance, spoke with satisfaction of paying a thousand rubles for Taras, a serf who prepared savory hazel grouse sautéed in Madeira for his daughter Natasha’s name day dinner.
 Thus, Russians were hooked on French dishes, and among which was popular a whole grilled pigeon, covered with a cabbage leave. The dish became fancy and well-liked, and soon was called simply ‘golubi’ or ‘golubtsi’ – from Russian word ‘golub’ that literally means pigeon. Lately cooks began to prepare a fake ‘pigeon’ – well-known stuffed cabbage rolls, which were cheaper and affordable for the lower classes.
Golubtsi - Russian stuffed cabbage rolls
Also, big thanks to Angie for featuring my post – red pancakes! I’m bringing these cabbage rolls to the super Fiesta Friday party! I know, it’s such a simple dish, that many of you have tried it already, but I hope you are tired of sweets and enjoy Russian comforting food. 🙂

Golubtsi - Russian stuffed cabbage rolls

  • Servings: 10-12 rolls
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
1 white cabbage
500g beef mince (or mix pork+beef)
90-100g uncooked white rice, short-grain
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 tsp dried marjoram, optional
S&P to taste
Sauce
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 carrot,  shredded
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
oil, for frying
200-300ml water*
2 bay leaves
5-6 black peppercorns
S&P to taste
Garnish
sour cream, chopped parsley, optional
  • Sauce. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onion and carrot for the sauce, cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Stir in tomato paste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Cabbage. Discard the 2 or 3 outer leaves of the cabbage. Carefully pull off leaves one by one. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Immerse cabbage leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, take the leaves out and transfer to a bowl. *Reserve the water to use it lately for the sauce.
  • Filling. Cook the rice fro 8-10 minutes in bowling water. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, rice, onion, carrot and spices. You can fry onion before adding it to the filling.
  • Working with one cabbage leaf at a time, slice off the thick outer rib near the stem end. Place the leaf, rounded up like a bowl, stem end closest to you. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture, form it into a short log shape.  Don’t make the rolls too tight. Transfer the roll, seams down, to the pan with sauce. Shape the remaining rolls in the same way.
  • Pour in water – just to cover the cabbage rolls, add more if needed. Season to taste, add bay leaves and peppercorns. On a medium-high heat bring it to boil. Then reduce heat to lower, cover the pan with a lid (or you can use a piece of foil) and cook for 40 minutes. You may cut one roll to test it.
  • Serve rolls with their cooking sauce, sprinkled with parsley and garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Golubtsi

Classic Beef Stroganov

 Beef Stroganov is a well-known Russian dish, which become extremely popular in many countries. It consists of fried beef cubes mixed with sour cream sauce. Various explanations are given for the name, one says that such dish was firstly appeared at the count Alexander Stroganov’s dinners, who was the Russian minister of the interior from 1839, the member of the state Council from 1849 and the governor general of Novorossiia from 1855. The sauteed beef was among other different dishes, which were served at ‘open tables’ when all decorous and presentable people could came in straight from the street and tried any meal.
 The first known Beef Stroganov recipe doesn’t contain onions or mushrooms, only floured beef cubes, which fried and sauced with mustard, bouillon (stock) and some sour cream. Thus, you may guess that it’s not the best recipe. The dish becomes much tastier and aromatic if you add onions and mushrooms (it tastes fantastic with cep mushrooms, even if you add only one), such recipe is considered now as classic Beef Stroganov.
Beef Stroganov

Classic Beef Stroganov

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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You can also serve the beef with buckwheat instead of mashed potatoes.
IngredientsRussian Beef Stroganov
500g beef fillet, cut into medium cubes
2 medium brown onions, thinly sliced
200-300g mushrooms, sliced (cep mushrooms or brown champignons)
2-3 Tbsp plain flour
150-200ml sour cream
2 tsp dijon mustard
2-3 Tbsp beef stock
butter or sunflower oil
sea salt, black pepper to taste
mashed potatoes, chopped dill or parsley, rye bread, for serving
 
Method
  1. To make the sour cream sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream with mustard, add stock to make it more thin (it should be liquid like kefir).
  2. Mix the flour with a good pinch of salt. Lightly flour beef cubes from all sides, shake off any flour excess. Heat the heavy frying pan, when it’s hot, add butter or sunflower oil. Then sear beef cubes in 2 or 3 batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan and steam the meat. Cook for 2-3 muntes or just until browned. Transfer to the plate.
  3. In the same frying pan (reduce the heat to medium), add a knob of butter, mushrooms and onions. Fry onion until it’s soft. Then add fried meat, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, you need to warm the meat mixture for 2-3 minutes. Now add the sauce, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with lid and let it rest for few minutes.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with dill or parsley. Enjoy!
You can keep the dish in the fridge up to 1-2 days. Keep the fried meat and sour cream sauce separate in the different containers. Just mix it together and rewarm before serving (but don’t let the sauce bubble).

Slow-cooked beef with fruits

  In Russian language, we have one word “tomlenie”, which is similar to the word “stewing”, but has a significant distinction. Tomlenie is a slow-cooking process of meat, fish or vegetables in Russian petch (oven/stove, have a look at the pictures of traditional Russian petch here and here).  
  Nowadays traditional Russian ovens can be found only in out-of-the-way places (villages and provinces, located in the remotest depths of the country).
  It’s considered that, slow-cooking in the common oven is close to the “tomlenie” process, but the real taste and aroma of dishes prepared in Russian petch unfortunately couldn’t be done anywhere else.

Slow-cooked meat

Let’s try to prepare the closest dish.
First of all, we need a clay pot with a lid. 
Be patient! Stewing will take several hours.
Don’t worry! During this time you don’t need to check or mix the dish every 10-20 minutes, thus you can have a break and watch your favorite movie, and even prepare a side dish. 🙂

Beef with fruits

If you don’t have clay pot-use casserole.
If you don’t have a lid -cover the pot with foil.
Replace cherries with cranberries.
Omit the sugar.
Spice the meat with 1/3 tsp of crushed cardamom, it brings a nice interesting note. 
You can add 2-3 tbsp of dry red wine for the better taste (after the frying meat).
Ingredients to feed 4 people:
Beef, cut into 2-3cm cubes – 700g/1lb
Golden onion – 1 big, sliced
Pitted prunes – 150g/5 oz
Cherry fresh or frozen – 150g/5 oz
Sunflower or olive oil for frying- 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Bay leaves – 2
Whole black peppercorns – 8-10
Salt, pepper – to taste
some parsley, chopped
 
Method:
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 5-7 minutes, add beef cubes and fry until slightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the meat with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Put the meat in a clay pot, add boiling water (just to cover the meat), bay leaves and peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Don’t forget to close the pot with a lid! 🙂
  • Transfer to a preheated oven, 200C/400F, for 2 hours.
  • Check the quantity of the liquid, and add some more water  – if desired (the meat always should be in the broth).
  • Reduce temperature to 180C/380F and return to the oven for a further 1 hour.
  • Add prunes and cherries (no need to defrost), check the seasoning and return again to the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Switch the oven off and leave the pot in it (until the oven is still warm).
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
 
The good garnish to such meat is a buckwheat porridge, mashed or boiled potatoes. It could be served with broth; in a clay pot or on a serving plate.
Enjoy the holiday dinner! 🙂
 

Georgian Salad

The weather leaves much to be desired here (in Dubai), and the sun is all day long. Today is 47C (117F)!!!! and needless to say, how hot it is 😀

So I’ve started enjoying salads for dinner pretty much. I know what you could think: salads are boring! Be creative! Upgrade your small salad to big entree and add extra meat or beans to make it more hearty.

The below salad is named Georgian or Tbilisi, after the country, which cuisine offers various meat dishes with herbs and vegetables.

We need 300 g of baked (or boiled) beef meat;

1 can of red beans;

2 yellow or green bell peppers;

1 red onion;

1-2 cloves of garlic;

seeds of 1 pomegranate;

juice of 1 lemon;

olive oil;

khmeli suneli.

First, I need to explain what khmeli suneli is. It’s a Georgian spice mix, which can be used in any dish, it gives nice flavor to beef stew, goulash or hearty soups. You can buy it at any Russian store or DIY 🙂

In equal parts (all ingredients are dry):

-dill

-parsley

-coriander

-crushed bay leaves

-marjoram

-chili pepper- much less~2%

Next ingredients are not necessary, but you can put them as well:

-fenugreek leaves or seeds

-basil

-mint

-savory

-saffron ~0.10%

Cut the red onion into half moons and keep it in a hot water. Meanwhile cut the meat and peppers into cubes.

In a serving bowl, combine together meat, peppers, beans (without liquid) and onions.

In a small cup, prepare the dressing-mix olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and spice mix (khmeli suneli). Pour it over our salad, mix well and let stand for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, black pepper and salt.

 

Bon appetite!

Stewed buckwheat with pumpkin and beef

Have you ever tried buckwheat porridge? Or have ever heard about this wonderful product?

If you decided to try it 1st time, in my view, cook it in meat broth in the stove/oven and be sure it’ll be the love at first sight!

Usually buckwheat I’m using as garnish to the stewed meat, sausages etc.

Ingredients (for 2 big portions):

500 gr beef small/medium cubes

200 gr buckwheat

100-150 gr pumpkin, diced into cubes

1 piece of onion

2 bay leaves

salt, pepper

some oil-for frying

Method:

In a saucepan fry the beef  about 3-5min, add chopped onion and fry more 5min. Or optionally combine the meat with fav spices, stir and set aside for 30min.

Put the meat+onion into a casserole pan or individual pots, pour in water to cover and  place in the preheated oven for 1-1.5 hour -200 C (you have an hour of free time!)

Add the pumpkin and place again in the oven for 20min.

Washed and dried buckwheat put in the pan/pot, add some more warm water and cook 15min.

Serve with spring onions and parsley.

Bon Appétit!