Kholodets: Weirdly Tasty Russian Meat Jelly Appetiser

PHOTO by Rawlik / Depositphotos
Considered a delicacy, this Russian traditional appetiser is actually just boiled pieces of meat in aspic

Kholodets, sometimes referred to as studen', quickly gained popularity in Russia as it first appeared there in the 17th century. Since then, its recipe obtained many variations, but most oftenly it uses the parts of animal carcass that best suit for cooking a greasy broth. The greasier, the better.

Beef Kholodets

Serves four

beef with bones 1 kg
bay leaf2
thyme15 g
parsley30 g
black peppercorns5 pieces
garlic1 clove
mustard1/2 tsp
vegetable oil 1 tbsp
vinegarto taste
Preparationfive hours

Put beef on bone (bone is a prerequisite), carrots, bay leaves, a small bunch of thyme, parsley and pepper in a saucepan and pour in three litres of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for five hours.


Strain the broth through a fine sieve. Finely chop the meat when it cools down.


Stir a handful of chopped parsley, finely chopped garlic, mustard, olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and vinegar with meat.


So that the kholodets can be easily removed and then cut, the dish in which it will solidify should be covered with a food film. Pour a little of broth into the dish – then, when it stiffens, lay out the meat. Then pour in the rest of the broth and cool the dish again.


Put in the fridge for six hours.

Serve with horseradish or mustard.