Kholodets is a jellied meat dish traditional in Russian cuisine. Its name is derived from the Russian word ‘kholod’, meaning ‘cold’ and is a popular dish of the winter new year’s festive season. It’s usually served with fresh Russian borodinsky bread, fresh horseradish, pickled vegetables, vodka and/or cognac.

Kholodets is made from fresh butcher’s meat and makes wonderful use of the cheap cuts including: pork trotter and shins. When served, it resembles a rectangle of jelly or it takes the shape of the dish where it was chilled. The base of the dish can be decorated with pickled mushrooms and vegetables or garden herbs leaves (if made in summer) before chilling. In the midst of the Russian winter, this dish is one money saving offering that keeps the energy levels high and the palate happily teased.

Pork Trotter & Shin Kholodets, Pickled Beetroot, Horseradish Cream

Serves 6

Kholodets

300g pork trotters
300g pork shins
Salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
2 brown onions, 1 whole and 1 finely diced
300g pork belly, diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp allspice

Pork Belly & Trotter Kholodets
Pork Belly & Trotter Kholodets

Method

1. Thoroughly wash pork trotters and shins, place in large pot, cover with water (about 4 litres) and bring to boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 hours, skimming the fats and foam that rise to the surface of the water.

3. After the 2 hours add salt, the whole onion, the black peppercorns and bay leaves. Simmer for a further 2 hours.

4. Add diced pork belly to the pot and simmer for a further hour. At this time the meat should be very soft, falling off the bone.

5. Remove pot from heat and allow the meat to cool slightly in the liquid.

6. Remove meat from the liquid and finely shred by hand into a bowl. Set aside liquid for later use.

7. In a frying pan sauté diced onion, garlic, carrot and celery cook until soft.

8. Add the sautéed vegetables and the allspice to the meat and mix thoroughly.

9. The reserved simmering liquid should now be gelatinous and sticky. Strain it to remove solids. You will need about a litre of the liquid.

10. Pour 1-1½cm of the simmering liquid into your choice of mould and set in a refrigerator until firm – about 15 minutes. (We used individual moulds of about 375ml each.)

11. Fold the remaining simmering liquid through the shredded meat.

12. Remove the mould/s with set jelly from the refrigerator and place shredded meat inside to fill completely. Press firmly in place.

13. Return to refrigerator to set completely.

Pickled Beetroot

4 beetroot, cooked and peeled
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup malt vinegar
1 tsp pickling spice mix

Method

1. Thinly slice cooked beetroot.

2. In a medium saucepan add water, sugar, malt vinegar and pickling spice mix. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add sliced beetroot.

4. Allow to cool in pickling liquid to infuse flavours. Can be preserved in jars.

Horseradish Cream

20g horseradish, grated
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp castor sugar
100ml double cream, lightly whipped
100ml sour cream
Salt and pepper

Method

1. In a mixing bowl, mix double cream and sour cream together.

2. Add remaining ingredients and lightly fold until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

3. Season to taste.

To Serve

Serve with Russian borodinsky bread, pickled beetroot and horseradish cream. Warming shots of vodka or cognac optional.

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