Solyanka – Thick, Spicy Ukrainian Potage – As Picnic Food Ideas.

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Posted by Mira | Posted in Recipes with Meat | Posted on 08-03-2012

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Solyanka is a very specific soup. It is attributed to Russian and Ukrainian traditional cuisine. It mostly a mannish kind of picnic soup. I would not say it is very healthy, but food experts maintain it has positive health effects during hangover – as it provides the alcohol-intoxicated organism with lots of necessary minerals and microelements. Doctors say fish solyanka is dietary and is good for lever. However, I am going to introduce a meat solyanka. Also it can be a mushroom one as well. There are many recipes of meat solyanka even throughout Russian and Ukrainian people. It is almost that every family has its own “true” and traditional recipe. But, actually it depends on preferences. However most people say real traditional solyanka has nothing to do with adding potato, cabbage and carrot. But some do. I prepare assorted meat solyanka without potato, cabbage, and carrot. Though, in the recipe I will try to include any possible cooking variation of this specific spicy picnic food. Hope you will enjoy this cooking journey!

Solyanka

Assorted Meat Solyanka.

Assorted Meat Solyanka
Preparation time: 30 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes (plus 4-5 hours for boiling beaf); rich yield. When cooking this potage for the first time, you may experiment with less ingredients – to get the taste of the food.

Ingredients:
500 g beef
150 g smoked Bavarian sausage (or other)
150 g ham
150 g bacon (plus any other sausages or smoked meat products)
10 black olives
10 green olives
2 medium pickled cucumbers
2 medium button onions
1 level tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 level tbsp capers (optional)
Seasoning: salt, Cayenne, and black pepper to taste
200 g sour cream
1 fresh lemon
Fresh coriander

Instructions:
Rinse beef, then cut into small pieces and put into warm water, bring to the boil and boil on low heat till well tender. You can as well use pork together with beef. When boiled, remove bones and any parts that you will not use in the potage. Sieve the broth. Add the meat.

Pan-fried onion with tomato paste.

Pan-fried onion with tomato paste.

Peel and rinse the onions; cut thinly and pan-fry in olive oil for about 10 minutes with a small pinch of salt over medium heat till soft and not yet turned golden-brown. Add tomato paste and a couple of tbsp broth. Leave over heat for a couple of minutes constantly stirring. When done add into the broth – which is boiling over small heat with a lid covered.

Preparing assorted meat ingredients.

Preparing assorted meat ingredients.

Cut ham, bacon, sausages and any smoked meat products that you are going to add into the potage into medium-small size dice. You may have some meat products in bigger pieces the other thinner and smaller – or shredded. Add the ingredients into the broth.

Olives and pickled cucumber.

Olives and pickled cucumber.

If pickled cucumbers have hard peel – remove it, if soft- leave as it is. Shed the cucumbers or cut into bigger pieces. You may likewise cut several olives of each color or may add whole with stones into the broth. Stones will add specific flavor. Add olives into the broth.

Preparing solyanka.

Preparing solyanka.

Note: add half can liquid of the black (or green for a more tart flavor) olives into the broth.

Taste the potage to check how much salt is needed. Season with salt accordingly and sprinkle black pepper, and Cayenne. Add some freshly chopped coriander, stir shortly; cover the pot with the lid, leave over small heat for a couple of minutes more. Then turn off the heat and allow the potage to rest for at least 30 minutes – ideally it would be a couple of hours.

Serving solyanka.

Serving solyanka.

Serve hot in warm pots. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander, lemon slice, 1 small spoon of sour cream, and a few fresh olives in the potage.

 

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