Meat Cutlets: The Russian Counterpart to Burgers

PHOTO by ffphoto / Depositphotos
Apart from Borscht, thin pancakes and buckwheat, which are usually associated with traditional Russian cuisine, meat cutlets hold a very special place in every Russian’s heart

Simply mix meat, eggs, and onions with a loaf of a slightly stale bread from the far corner of your breadbasket, and you’ll end up with a perfect example of what Russian meat lovers worship.

Meat Cutlets

Serves 5

meat1 kg
stale white bread300 g
Preparation1 hour

Put the meat through a large grinder or simply buy ground meat.


Chop the onion into cubes approximately 4-5 millimetres wide. Add the chopped onions to the ground meat.


Soak the bread in water, then squeeze all the water out and add the bread to the ground meat. The most important thing in cutlets is the amount of bread. I put a little more than one-third of a loaf per kilogram of meat. The cutlets will be tough and tasteless if there isn't enough bread.


Add an egg to the meat and onion so the cutlets don’t fall apart on the pan.


Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste and then mix the meat until it's a homogeneous mass.


Slightly heat the pan, pour olive or sunflower oil onto it and put the formed cutlets on the pan. Do not make the cutlets too large or too thick, otherwise they need to be fried longer and the juice will be gone. An approximate thickness of 1.5 centimetres is sufficient. When the cutlets get lightly browned on one side, flip them. You will need to turn them over a couple more times. Never pour water onto the pan or cover it with a lid, or else you will boil the patties. Seven to eight minutes is enough for a 1.5-centimetre-thick patty to be ready.