We were looking for a recipe the other day. I had a chunk of pork loin in the fridge, we’d just had pork chops… so the First Reader popped it into google. I was lying on the bed and reading over his shoulder, sort of. He started cruising websites for recipes, until he found one that looked plausible. It turned out very, very well – Szekely Gulyas, for those wondering – but it was another recipe that caught my eye and I bookmarked for later. Bookmarking, in case you’re wondering since he was doing the searching, was ‘honey, would you send me a link to that?’
This recipe called for beef, not pork, so I thought I could safely serve it in the same week as the Gulyas. I did, however, decide that I didn’t want to serve it over noodles, although it would work that way very well. Instead, I decided I wanted to make classic Russian accompaniments… blinis.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I can’t pronounce the name – we were trying over dinner after I made it, which was very funny. I can spell it. Or I can spell one variant of it, as someone pointed out in the food group that it’s spelled several ways. The one I’d first seen was Stschi… seriously, anyone got a vowel? I can now make it, and will likely be making it rather a lot as it is a great warm food for cool days, and filling to book. The blinis were received to mixed reviews, with calls for maple syrup even though they are supposed to be a sop for the stew.
I modfied both recipes, as I do. The stew, because I wanted to make it a bit richer (and didn’t have leeks on hand) and the blinis because I have a shocking lack of buckwheat flour in the pantry. Sorry, Dad, I’ll fix that right away. Then you can come over for pancakes.
I didn’t have toppings, but more sour cream. chopped fresh dill, chopped raw onions, all those would be lovely with this dish. I’m just trying to minimize my ‘run to the store and pick one thing up’ trips. Otherwise there would be buckwheat!
The stew came out melt-in-your mouth velvety, with a rich depth of flavor from the long cook, The cabbage was surprisingly low-key in the finished product, with the beef being the predominant flavor. The parsnips, having been put in late, were done, but retained shape and their sweet-spicy flavor. It made a lot of stew, easily more than we could eat as a family, and I still have about three quarts in the fridge, which I may freeze for later – not sure how well it will freeze. The blinis were moist, nutty, a hint of sour from the yeast and rye – delicious. I’ll be making some as breakfast food soon, to satisfy my little heathens.
After this meal, we had a homemade from scratch spice cake with cream-cheese frosting – but that’s a post for tomorrow!