Russian holodets. Jellied minced meat.

by Lelik on July 1, 2009

in Meat


Holodets or Jellied minced meat

Have you ever heard about Russian Holodets” {kholoudets}? Usually each Russian family is cooking it at the New Year holidays, it’s some kind of a tradition to make the following 3 dishes on the New Year’s eve, these are “Holodets“,Olivier salad (the Russian a bit specific version of it), and “Seledka pod Shuboi”{s’eelyodka} {po’d} {shoo’boy} smth like that I guess, salad which literally means “Herring Under The Fur Coat” or Dressed Herring. Sounds a bit funny, right? OK, come back to our Holodets! We eat it with strong Russian horseradish sauce, vinegar, mustard (it’s much bitter than Dijon). Well, it’s very simple to cook and simply delicious! It takes about 6-7 hours from the beginning to the end, but ..STOP! C’mon! I see now you are telling me “WHAT THE..?” Just take a look at the picture listed below,  don’t you think this beauty doesn’t worth it? It’s VERY tasty, I promise! The texture of it is like a small pieces of meat in a cold jelly. Try to cook it once with me and I’m sure you’ll never be disappointed!

Russian holodets

Russian holodets

Let’s start cooking this simple traditional Russian cold dish, do you remember the name of it? Well, never mind.  :) I’m pretty sure you’re still thinking about 6-7 hours of standing by your kitchen table. Actually, it’s not true and it isn’t too long either. Let me explain you why. Almost all 6 hours it’s boiling in a low heat by itself, all you need is just to put all things together to cold water and leave, than spend couple of minutes to finish some things and that’s it! Don’t forget to have fun!

First of all you need to buy 2-4 knuckles and wash them thoroughly!

dirty knuckles

dirty knuckles

wash them thoroughly

wash them thoroughly

be carefully with a knife

be carefully with a knife

when you are satisfied with theirs cleanness, take a big and sharp knife and make a double shallow notch on each knuckle on two side peaces as shown in the picture

notch each knuckle

notch each knuckle

If you don’t like how they smells, put them in a water with a bit vinegar for a couple of minutes. When all knuckles are clean, notched and smells nice put them in a pot and cover by cold water. When it starts to boil, pour it out, clean knuckles and the pot. Put knuckles into pot and add cold water (I added 4 liters*, but it depends on the amount of holodets).  Then leave it on a low heat for 4 hours.

*4 liters = 135.3 fl.oz or 141 oz or 8.454 pt

put knuckles into cold water

put knuckles into cold water and cook for 4 hours on a low heat

4 hours passed… great! Now you can add a piece of beef into the pot if you like, if you don’t have it or do not like beef just do not add it, it’s not a big deal. I added a small piece of beef, 1,5 table spoon of a salt (add salt by taste), 4 berries of black pepper, bay leaves and 1 unpeeled onion. Cook 2 more hours.

After 6 hours you should have smth like this

6 hours passed

6 hours passed

6 hours passed! Awesome! Knuckles should be boiled soft

knuckles should be boiled soft

knuckles should be boiled soft

Take all the ingredients out of the pot

take all ingredients out

take all ingredients out

throw away the onion, black pepper peas and bay leaves. Remove all small bones from the knuckles and dice the meat. Use tools! :)

dice meat

diced meat

and spread out in a set of dishes

spread out in a set of dishes

spread out in a set of dishes

Finally cover the meat by the remain broth and put into the fridge to thicken. That’s it!

Holodets is ready! All you need is to add some mustard or vinegar!

Holodets is ready! All you need is to add some mustard or vinegar!

p.s. American recipes are my new passion! I invite you to share it with me. I’ve just joined Secret Recipe Forum and bought a really interesting and useful resource – Cook book collection with Restaurants recipes, it’s called America’s Secret Recipes. If you like and enjoy food like i do – you should give it a try. Really nice community to be with!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

KonstantinMiller July 7, 2009 at 2:11 am

Hello. I think the article is really interesting. I am even interested in reading more. How soon will you update your blog?

Lelik July 7, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Thank you very much! I’m trying to update my blog every day! Please ask if you have any questions or “need more Russian!”

Elaine - The Gourmet Girl July 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Your pictorial is excellent! This is not something that I’ve made personally, but your post makes it sound easy and achievable.
Thank you for the post.

Rachel 'Tha Pizza Cutta' Joyce July 9, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I’ve never seen anything like this in my life! Your process makes this dish very easy to understand. Thanks for sharing!

Lelik July 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm

to Elaine – The Gourmet Girl

this recipe is really easy to cook but a bit hard to explain “how to”, it has some…. hm.. secrets, you know. I hope step by step photos should help.

Lelik July 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm

to Rachel ‘Tha Pizza Cutta’ Joyce

thank you very much, hope you’ll try to cook holodets by yourself some day!

Matt The Butcher July 23, 2009 at 1:37 am

O M G ……this looks freaking delicious,especially with mustard and fresh horseradish! I have some pigs feet in the freezer.Cant wait to try this !

Dharma@Bali Villas September 7, 2009 at 4:36 am

hmmm so easy to make but wondering the taste..is it good?

Tallya October 10, 2009 at 6:12 am

Dharma, I come from a Russian family but am personally grossed out by the pig feet. The concept is awesome though. What I do is simmer meat (chicken, lamb, or beef usually) for at least an hour with the onion and bay leaves and salt. Then I take out the meat, shred it, put it into bowls along with some sliced boiled carrots and fresh dill for presentation. Mix some unflavored jelatin into the broth (read jelatin package for liquid to jelatin ratio) let it dissolve and pour over meat. You might want to pour a bit on the bottom of the bowl before placing meat and vegetables and refrigirate until set to keep everything at the bottom of the bowl after you put the rest of the broth in, otherwise it floats to the top, which is fine as well. It tastes good after it is set. I see how salty jello might sound really weird but this is actually really good and you’ll forget you’re eating jello. Try it! Email me and let me know how it was if you do decide to try it, my way or not :)

Rachel @ Flavorwave Oven November 5, 2009 at 11:20 am

My grandmother used to make something similar to this with beef bones. When I was a kid I used to eat it with lemon juice on top.
.-= Rachel @ Flavorwave Oven´s last blog ..Neckline Slimmer Reviews =-.

Mayers@kitchen tables June 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

Great recipe but I really don’t like pork. Will try the same for lamb meat. I guess lamb is much more tender so will take a lesser time. Very nicely explained with pictures.
.-= Mayers@kitchen tables´s last blog ..Pine kitchen table =-.

Devra@Villa in Bali June 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

new recipes? Keep on trying make delicious food…
nyam … nyam … nyam…..
thank you for sharing …….

By : Villas Reservation

John Prescott July 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

The knuckles are scary. It took me a few second to digest the fact that those are pig’s knuckles, I was like “Ohhhh wtf is this?!”. I used to eat the salmon version of this. I think they are called aspic.

pratish@free stuff August 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm

In our village (which is in Kerala, Southern state of India) we won’t even consume pork. The holodets is looking like a sweet item for me. @John Prescott, For me also the knucles of pig looks scary. But i think it’s very tasty :)

wireless meat thermometer August 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Thanks for the detailed instructions, it’s not to my taste but several members of my family will love it so I’ll be making it for them.

Self Catering Cottages September 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

thanks for the amazing post :) the recipe is great as well but it is the picture view of cleaning n cooking up knuckles which make it look sooo easy. BTW i have always detested working with knuckles. but this one makes me inspired :)

David@mole removal September 25, 2010 at 1:54 am

I am a chef in my own restaurant diner. I am very fond of updates on latest delicacies and menus of foreign category for me. As I am reading and watching this post’s message and pictures, I am thrilled to try this one out and serve it to my own resto. I really am grateful for this post and am thanking the author who posted this one.

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