Traditional Russian Dishes

In late 19th and early 20th centuries, traditional Russian cuisine started dominating Russian taverns. At first taverns stood on high roads
Cooking time —
Complication —

In late 19th and early 20th centuries, traditional Russian cuisine started dominating Russian taverns. At first taverns stood on high roads. They served as shelters and inns for working people, especially, for coachmen.
Staying at town taverns, initially considered third-rate hotels with restaurants, were mainly Russian merchants, so the table was mostly traditional.
In Moscow, there was, for example, Testov"s Tavern with a rich Russian table. Merchants and the nobility thronged in it.
Petersburg"s nobility came to Moscow specially to try Testov"s pig, crayfish soup with rasstegai pies and famous Guryev kasha.
For many Muscovites, tavern was "the first thing". It served as a stock exchange for businessmen, a meeting point with business partners and friends, and a place for rest for everyone – from millionaires to tramps!
Many recipes got lost with the time, the taste of many Russian dishes was forgotten, many foods became unavailable, but we still shall try to recall what a traditional Russian table was rich in – not simply recall, but try to cook the most remarkable dishes.

Grated Radish with Croutons and Goose Fat

1 medium-sized radish
2 slices brown bread
1 onion
1 tbsp goose or chicken fat
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
chopped greens
salt to taste

Peel, rinse and grate radish coarsely, add salt, vinegar and sunflower oil. Cut bread in cubes, sprinkle with salt and dry in the oven. Chop onions fine and fry in fat. Put radish in a salad bowl as a hill, put croutons around and fried onions with herbs atop.

Beetroot Pickled Old-Russian-Style with Mushrooms

1 beetroot
1 horseradish root
bay leaves
black peppercorns
cloves, vinegar
3 ceps boiled and chopped fine
1 onion chopped fine and simmered soft
salt to taste
2 tbsp sunflower oil

Roast red sweet beetroot, peel, slice and put it in a jar sprinkled with grated horseradish root. Boil vinegar with bay leaves, black peppercorns and cloves. Add hot or chilled marinade (hot for 3 hrs, chilled for 24 hrs) to the prepared beetroot. Alternate the vinegar volume to taste. Take the prepared beetroot from the marinade, drain it, slice fine, combine with mushrooms, onions, oil and salt. Serve in a salad bowl with horseradish.

Cold Sturgeon with Horseradish

100g sturgeon
25g horseradish
vinegar, salt to taste

Boil scalded and cleaned sturgeon in salted water with roots and vinegar. Chill in the bouillon. Slice the fish fine and lay it out on a dish. Serve with horseradish and vegetables.

Fish in Spicy Marinade

300g sturgeon
1 onion
400g tomatoes
1 tbsp sunflower oil
50g spring onions
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
half-lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste

Boil sturgeon, slice it, put in a salad bowl and cover it with onion rings. Prepare marinade: press ripe tomatoes through a sieve, add sugar, salt, lemon acid, sunflower oil. Add the marinade to the fish, sprinkle with chopped spring onions and fresh herbs, chill down.

Fish Slices Jellied

1 1/2 kg fish
1 carrot, parsley and onions each
2 tbsp gelatine
1L fish bouillon
2-3 eggs
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
green peas
1 bunch fresh parsley

Boil a bouillon with vegetables and spices, and add fish to the boiling bouillon. Bring to boil, turn down the heat and cook without boiling until the fish is ready. Put the cooked fish in cold salted water, and, when it chills down, slice it into thin wide pieces. Add a half cup of cold bouillon to gelatine and leave it in a warm place. Keep boiling the fish broth until just 1 litre remains. Strain and skim bouillon, and immediately combine it with the prepared gelatine. Stir thoroughly. Pour 1/3 in a large enamelled tray; put fish slices on the half-thickened jelly, top each piece with a circle of boiled egg, a few green peas, parsley twigs, and a star-shaped slice of boiled carrot from the bouillon. Pour the remaining jelly on this, let it thicken completely, cut out each fish slice with a topping, and lay the pieces out on a long narrow dish. Serve with mayonnaise.

Stewed Beef Aspic with Vegetable Jelly

3 kg beef fillet
100 g spick
50 g melted butter
3 veal legs
3 onions
3 carrots
1 bunch parsley
15 peppercorns
100g lettuce
100g grated horseradish
1 small boiled beetroot
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3-4 bay leaves

Lard the beef with spick, rub salt into it, and fry in a deep pan on all sides. Add all vegetables, chopped veal legs, pepper, bay leaves, salt, and water so that it covers everything two fingers over. Cover with a lid, bring to boil, turn down the heat so that it is hardly boiling. When the meat on the legs gets soft and falls off the bones and the beef is soft, take it off the heat, take out the beef, slice finely, and lay out on a deep dish. Force the sauce through a sieve and add salt to taste if necessary. Pour the sauce over the meat and leave to thicken. Decorate the thickened dish with lettuce cut into circles, put a little grated horseradish combined with finely grated boiled beetroot and mayonnaise on each circle.

Veal Aspic

1 veal hind leg
100g oil for frying
salt to taste
1 jar mustard
2 tbsp gelatine
1 cup bouillon
for topping:
100g lettuce
2-3 boiled carrots
4 hard-boiled eggs
3-4 pickled gherkins
2-3 pickled apples

Rinse and dry the hind leg, coat it in mustard and leave in a cold place overnight. Remove the mustard in the morning, and rub salt and butter in the leg. Put it on the roasting sheet, add water, and put in the pre-heated oven. Roast the leg frequently pouring it with sauce. When the leg gets brown, overturn it. Roast 1

Bon appetite!
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