Borscht

A simple recipe to make this all year round Russian classic.

Servings

4

Ready In:

1 hour

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Terrance Conran, The Soup Kitchen 

When you think of Russian food, Borscht is often top of the list. It’s strong vibrant purple contrasts beautifully with the pale colour of the soup bowl. The beetroot flavour and rich beef stock complement each other to produce this classic dish. Borscht can be served hot or chilled in the summer.

The recipe I used is Sir Terence Conran’s from The Soup Kitchen. Borscht is a winner in our house (amongst the grown-ups) – just be careful not to feed it to your toddlers in the best clothes!

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 250g beetroot, raw, peeled and roughly chopped
  • onion
  • carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • for garnish soured cream
  • for garnish chives, chopped

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Melt the butter in a large pan, over a gentle heat and slowly sweat the beetroot, onion, carrot and garlic, turning the vegetables (which will become a lurid pink) over in the butter.

Step 2

Add the sugar and stock to the pan, season with a few grinds of pepper, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Step 3

Using a blender, whizz the soup until it is entirely smooth, then add the lemon juice and salt to taste. A swirl of soured cream and a scattering of chives is the traditional garnish – delicious and adding another dimension to the fabulous beetroot colour.

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Pelmeni

Honey and Oat Slice

These are delightful little squares of yumminess that keep you going and have the benefit of sneaking hazelnuts past the kids.

Servings

6

Ready In:

1 hour 10min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Gastro Senses  I love dumplings and it seems so do Lily and Dmitriy from Gastro Sense. They have worked their way through Uzbek Manti and Ukranian Pierogies Vareniki, however these Siberian dumplings known as Pelmeni caught my eye. Pelmeni are made with ground meat of any kind so they are a useful leftover recipe. Traditional Siberian Pelmeni are made with a half and half mix of beef and pork. The dough can be made using a mixer, a bread maker or just a strong pair of hands – good for working out some stress! I have to admit I cheated and used a set of Gyoza dumpling wrappers that I had in the freezer. After the dumplings have been made, simply boil them for 10 minutes and your house will smell of warm sausage rolls. Mmmmmm! You can serve them in a broth, or pan fry them with some butter. Other suggestions are dipping them in vinegar, or ketchup or sour cream. You take your pick!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • garnish sour cream
  • garnish fresh parsley
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

To prepare the dough, combine all dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and kneed the dough until a smooth dough ball forms, about 10 minutes. Cover, and set aside, letting the dough rest until ready to use. While the dough is resting prepare the filling.

Step 2

Mix the ground meat, finely chopped onion, pressed garlic and season everything with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each portion out into 1/8″ thick over a lightly floured non-stick surface. Using a jar top or a small glass cut out the circles of the dough and place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling on each circle. Simply fold the edges together and seal pressing tightly, then seal the two endings together as well.

Step 4

Repeat to use the remaining of the filling and dough. Place the finished pelmeni on a well dusted cutting board (make sure they don’t touch each other) until ready to boil or freeze for 1 hour uncovered. Then transfer pelmeni into a large plastic bag. They would last for months.

Step 5

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add bay leaves and peppercorns. Place pelmeni in a boiling water. After they float to the top, cook for 5 more minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Step 6

Add butter and mix to coat pelmeni in butter. Serve garnished with sour cream and fresh parsley.

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Medovik (Russian Honey Cake)

Medovik (Russian Honey Cake)

Alternating layers of honey cake and simple sour cream frosting covered with cake crumbs creates this beautiful  cake. 

Servings

10

Ready In:

2 hours 25min

Good For:

Dessert

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About this Recipe

By Natasha’s Kitchen 

Medovik or Russian Honey Cake is an amazing looking cake. Alternating layers of honey cake and simple sour cream frosting covered with cake crumbs creates the beautiful Medovik cake. Store it in the fridge and it will stay fresh for up to 4 days.

The Russian Honey Cake recipe is from Natasha’s Kitchen –  is quick and easy. Her website is a great source for Russian and Ukranian Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 32 oz sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 lb fresh berries, for decoration

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Add ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup honey and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter to a medium sauce pan and melt them together over medium/low heat, whisking occasionally until sugar is melted (5-7 mins). Don’t put them over high heat or they may scorch to the bottom.

Step 2

As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and while it’s still hot, add in your beaten eggs in a slow steady stream while whisking vigorously until all of your eggs are incorporated (whisk constantly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs).

Step 3

Whisk in the baking soda until no lumps remain, then fold in your 3 cups flour ½ cup at a time with a spatula until the dough reaches a clay consistency and doesn’t stick to your hands. Mine took exactly 3 cups flour (measured precisely, scraping off the top of the cup).

Step 4

Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and move on to the next step right away (these roll out best when the dough is still warm).

Step 5

On a well-floured surface, roll each piece out into a thin 9″ circle (about ⅛” thick). You can sprinkle the top with a little flour too to keep dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Place a 9″ plate or base from a springform mold over your rolled dough and trace around it with a pizza cutter to get a perfect circle. Keep the scraps for later. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and bake 2 at a time at 350˚F for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before stacking. Repeat with remaining layers.

Step 6

Finally bake the scraps separated evenly on a re-used sheet of parchment. Once the scraps are baked, cooled and firm, you can crush them with a rolling pin or pulse them in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.

Step 7

Beat 1 cup heavy cream until fluffy and stiff peaks form (1-2 min on high speed).

Step 8

In a separate bowl, whisk together 32 oz sour cream with 2 cups powdered sugar. Fold the whipped cream into the sour cream and you have your frosting. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 9

Spread about ⅓ cup frosting on each cake layer (don’t skimp on it since the cake needs to absorb some of the cream to become ultra soft. Press the cake layers down gently as you go to keep the layers from having air gaps. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.

Step 10

Dust the top and sides with your breadcrumbs, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This cake needs time to absorb some of the cream and soften, so be patient. It’s worth the wait!

Tips for Success:

Roll out the next layers while the first ones are in the oven and total combined baking time shouldn’t take more than 25-ish minutes. Some of mine bubbled up a little on top which is fine since after it’s frosted, it won’t make a difference. I deflated any real whopping bubbles after they came out of the oven. Oh and I re-used my parchment paper (because I’m frugal that way).
If you don’t have a baking sheet large enough to place the parchment paper on, just bake directly on the rack (that’s what I did!)

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Apple Sharlotka

Apple Sharlotka

A dessert style apple cake best served with some cream.

Servings

8

Ready In:

1 hour

Good For:

Desserts

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About this Recipe

By Smitten Kitchen

When it came to deciding what to make for the Russian Grand Prix, starter and mains were easy but I could not think of a single Russian dessert I had eaten. It was time for a visit to Pinterest. Everywhere I looked ‘Apple Sharlotka’ popped up. It ticked all the boxes. It was easy to make, the kids could get involved and I was sure that they would love it. I was right.

Apple Sharlotka Preparation

I found the recipe on ‘Smitten Kitchen‘ and most other recipes point back to this one. We made ours in advance which also made life easier.

Ingredients

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour
  • for decoration ground cinnamon and icing sugar

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan.

Step 2

Peel, halve and core the apples. Then chop them into medium sized chunk and pile into the prepared pan.

Step 3

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface . Beat in the vanilla, then fold in the flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.

Step 4

Pour over the apples, and push the apples down to make sure that batter gets in between all of the apples. The top of the batter should be level with the top of the apples. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes.

Step 5

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

Step 6

Serve it warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar.

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Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule

A vodka and ginger beer cocktail – one of my favourites.

Servings

16

Ready In:

25min

Good For:

Snacks

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About this Recipe

This one isn’t for the kids! Moscow Mule is one of my favourite cocktails and it is so simple.

Na zdorovie!

Ingredients

  • 2oz Vodka
  • 3oz ginger beet
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • ice

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Fill a highball glass with ice.

Step 2

Add the ingredients and stir.

Step 3

Garnish with a slice of lime.

Step 4

Drink and repeat steps 1-4 (optional!)

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Blinis

Blinis

Smoked salmon and caviar topped blinis.

Servings

4

Ready In:

15min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

These blinis disappeared in seconds. The little monsters couldn’t get enough of the smoked salmon and cream cheese. They were quite suspect about the caviar but I didn’t mind as we ate those ourselves.

Ingredients

  • 24 blinis
  • 50g creme cheese
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • for garnish caviar
  • Vodka (optional)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Cook the blinis according to the instructions on the packet. Allow to cool.

Step 2

Top with a dollop of cream cheese or crème fraiche .

Step 3

Then dress with smoked salmon and/or caviar.

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Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Tagliatelle topped with steak and mushrooms in a creamy sauce.

Servings

2

Ready In:

30min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By My Dad

Beef Stroganoff is ‘The Meal’ my Dad would cook for my Mum’s birthday.

Such attention to detail went into the finely sliced mushrooms and the tenderising of the meat. It was a work of art that was devoured in minutes. The recipe he uses comes from the family’s 1970s cook book with pictures to match.

I love this meal as it reminds me of those family occasions. It is so warm and hearty which given the current weather is just what we need.

A word of caution – I’ve rated this recipe as hard, because traditionally sour cream is used and this curdles easily, so if you want to avoid that use crème fraiche instead.

Ingredients

  • 500g sirloin steak
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 250g mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 250ml soured cream
  • 200g fresh tagliatelle
  • fresh parsley

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Put a warming dish in the oven at 100C. Tenderise the steak and slice into strips about 2.5cm wide by 7cm long.

Step 2

Melt half the butter in a skillet and cook the diced onion until translucent.

Step 3

Add the finely sliced mushrooms and some more butter.

Step 4

Once the mushrooms are cooked (about 4 minutes), transfer the mixture to the warming dish and put it back in the oven.

Step 5

Turn the heat up to high and flash fry the beef, adding salt and pepper if you wish.

Step 6

Reduce the heat and add the mushroom mixture back to the pan. Stir through mixing the mushroom sauce with the meat juices.

Step 7

Add the sour cream to pan and warm through gently. DO NOT LET IT SIMMER OR BOIL or the sour cream curdles.

Step 8

Serve it over the freshly cook tagliatelle and garnish with parsley.

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