Russian Cutlets

I remember a year ago my son didn’t quite get the whole present idea.  Naively and cute he was thrilled about all the wrapping paper.

Today the morning started with “Mama! Birday? Presens!?” Oh! I was watching him opening all the presents, sadly wondering if his sweet innocence was forever gone,… when he asked my husband if Santa was coming…  Oh, dear…

Today’s recipe is the one he actually likes (because of the bacon).  I usually make a bunch of them, fry a few, and freeze the rest. 

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RUSSIAN CUTLETS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb (450 g) of ground beef
  • 1 lb (450 g) of ground pork
  • 5 oz (150 g) of day-old sourdough bread
  • 7 oz (200 g) of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 eggs, bitten (optional)
  • 3 cups of bread crumbs (optional)

Yields about 40 cutlets

DIRECTIONS:

Break the bread into chunks and pour milk over it.  Let soak. Note: use your favorite bread – I usually go with my 5-seed one.

Grind bacon, rice, onion, and garlic. Grind soaked bread with all the milk.

Mix ground beef and pork with the bacon/bread mixture, salt and pepper, squeezing with your fingers so that all ingredients incorporate.

Shape oval patties.  If you wish to, dip into the eggs and roll the patties in the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil on the skillet.  Fry the patties covered on mid-low heat for 4-5 min on each side.

Traditionally served with mashed potatoes or pasta, or could simply be eaten with bread.

Make ahead: you can store uncooked cutlets for up to 3 months.  Wrap each cutlet in plastic wrap, place in a zip-lock bag, and freeze.  Thaw completely before frying.

Garlic Rosemary Pork Shoulder

For my husband’s birthday dinner I tried to mix healthy vegetable dishes with vile butter/carb plates.  With all the health hype the most popular items, naturally, were dill biscuits, casserole, and mashed potatoes.  Of course stuffing ourselves with the Evil Mother-In-Law Corn dish didn’t make us feel guilty at all, since healthy greens (in form of bean salad and plain steamed broccoli) were dutifully added to the plates!  See full menu here.

I used to try to show off with elaborate meals when I just got interested in cooking. Having kids dramatically changed my ambitions.  Now I find the simplest recipes more and more delicious appealing. I wonder why?..

Pork shoulder is almost ideal.  It requires minimal effort during the preparation and produces the awesomest results!

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GARLIC-ROSEMARY PORK SHOULDER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder with skin
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 stems rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste or your favorite meat seasoning /I LOVE  Goya Adobo – it’s a perfect blend of garlic, oregano, black pepper, and turmeric/

DIRECTIONS:

Don’t ask me why, but some people like crispy pork skin.  This recipe accommodates their weird tastes by higher heat in the beginning of baking and open lid and higher temperature in the end.  Otherwise, the secret of softest, most flavorful pork is in long low-temperature baking…

Generously season meat with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning.  With a knife poke holes in the shoulder about 1 inch apart from each other.  Stuff the holes with garlic cloves and rosemary stems.  At this point the meat could be refrigerated for 24 hours, or you could bake it right away.

Preheat the oven to 425⁰ F (220⁰ C).

Position the pork shoulder in the baking pot (Dutch oven or turkey baking dish work great) skin up.

Bake at 425⁰ F for 30 min.  Cover with a lid or foil.  Lower temperature to 325⁰ F (160⁰ C).  Bake 30-40 minutes per pound.  During the last half hour of baking remove the lid and raise temperature to 350⁰ F  (175⁰ C) to crisp the skin.

Check the temperature with instant-read thermometer.  It should be at least 160⁰ F (71⁰ C).

Carve by removing the skin first.


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