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Russian Food & Cuisine - Main Courses & Recipes

Main courses are eaten at the dinner (afternoon meal) and at the supper (evening meal). Most often they include meat (beef, chicken, fish) or vegetables and are served with various garnishes and dressings.

Main Courses:

- usually eaten in the morning
Sausages – usually served two sausages with ketchup

Pelmeni - favourite Russian dish
Pelmeni. (Photo from Kuking.Net)
Chops (kotlety) – made of various kind of meat in various regions
Pelmeny – (on the photo) the small balls of minced meat covered with the pastry
Vareniky – it looks like pelmeny however inside the pastry there is no meat but berries, potato or curds
Steak (otbivnaya) – beef and pork ones are most popular
Beef stroganov – pieces of beef prepared with cream sauce
Kiev style chicken (kotleta po-kievsky) – the special type of chicken chop with butter inside
Potato with mushrooms - favourite countryside meal

Russian Cuisine: Main Courses Recipes —
Abbreviations: ea - Each, tb - Table spoon, sm - Small, c - Cup, ts - Tea spoon, lg - Large. Recipes coutesy of RusCuisine.Net

Vegetable Meals

Draniki recipe
Ingredients : 12 medium potatoes , 1-2 tbsp flour, 7-8 tbsp vegetable oil , 1 egg, 100-200 g of salted pork fat, 1/2 glass of sour milk, salt
1. Peel the potatoes and grate them, add flour, sour milk or kefir, egg, salt and mix everything.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Lay the potato mass with a tablespoon in separate small pan-cakes (each no more then 10 cm / 4" in diameter). Cook until crisp and browned, then turn on the other side.
3. Serve hot with sour cream.

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Sauerkraut recipe
Ingredients : 1 bushel cabbage (fall cabbage-must be hard and dark green; yellowish summer cabbage will go soft), 2 pounds pickling salt
Shred cabbage. Put into crock in layers.
Sprinkle salt on each layer then pound with a 2 x 4 piece of wood until juice comes out. Put in another layer of cabbage, then salt, and pound. Continue in this way until crock is full.
When crock is full, mix. Cover with a plate and weigh down with a rock so it is below surface of the juice. Cover crock with a dish towel and store in summer kitchen/garage/cold cellar.
After it is fermented, it can be stored in jars by bring to a boil, putting in jars and sealing by heating jars.

Potato vareniki recipe:
Ingredients : 2 pounds potatoes, cooked (save water from cooked potatoes) , 2 onions chopped , 1 stick margarine , Salt and pepper , 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook potatoes in simmering water until soft and put them through a potato ricer. Saute onion in margarine until very soft, add 1/2 of the onions to the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add vegetable oil and enough water to make a soft dough and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the hands. Cover dough and let rest for about 15 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured board to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into small squares and place a dollop of potato mixture in the center of each square. Fold dough, pinch ends to form a triangle. When all are made, put into boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.
When all are cooked, drain and serve with the remaining sauteed onions on top.

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Meat Dishes:

Pelmeni recipe
Ingredients: 2 c flour, 1 c milk or water, 1/2 ts salt, 1 tb vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 250 g beef, 250 g pork, 1 onion, salt and pepper to taste.
1. Grind beef and pork twice in meat chopper. Then add chopped onion, salt, and pepper. To make mincemeat more tender and juicy, add a bit of milk. Reserve.
2. Mix flour with eggs and milk, salt and oil until a soft dough forms. Knead on floured surface until dough is elastic.
3. Take some dough and make a "sausage" (1 inch in diameter). Divide into pieces (1 inch thick). Roll each piece so that each is 1/16 inch thick.
4. Take a glass or a cup (2 inches in diameter) and make rounds with it's help on the dough. Fill each round with 1 teaspoon of the mincemeat, fold into half-moons.
5. Pinch edges together and connect the opposite sides. Pelmeni can be frozen to be cooked later ( you can keep them in the freezer for a long time), or cooked immediately.
6. To cook pelmeni, boil a large amount of water, as they can stick to each other. Salt water. Carefully drop pelmeni into boiling water. Don't forget to stir them from time to time. Boil for 20 minutes.
5. Served with butter, sour cream or vinegar, and ketchup.

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Beef Stroganov recipe
Ingredients : 2 lbs Tenderloin of beef - cut into very thin strips, 10 Allspice berries- freshly ground (2 tsp. dried ground), 1/4 lb. Butter (2 Tbs. reserved), 3 Tbs. Flour, 2 cups Estouffade (brown veal stock may also be used), 1 tsp. dijon mustard , 2-4 Tbs. Sour cream (more as desired), Salt and pepper to taste
To make one gallon Estouffade (can be stord for up to three days in the refrigerator or up to three months frozen): 2 lbs. Veal bones , 2 lbs. Beef Bones, 1 Unsmoked ham knuckle, 1 lb. Mirepoix - coarsely cut, 1/2 lb. onion, 1/4 lb. carrot , 1/4 lb. celery , 10 oz.
Tomato paste, Sachet d'epices , Salt to taste ( optional) 6 qts. Cold water

Season tenderloin with salt and allspice. Saute' the beef in butter to desired doneness. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Lower heat and add 2 Tbs. butter and 2 tbs. of the flour. Add more flour if needed. Fry lightly over moderately low heat until the roux slowly turns a golden straw colour.
Gradually add the Estouffade, whisking constantly to avoid lumping. When well blended add mustard and a little pepper. Simmer over medium heat about ten mins. Add sour cream to pan, stirring constantly until desired consistency is reached ( to cover back of a spoon).
Reheat meat in the sauce taking care that the sauce does not boil.
To make Estouffade:
Preheat the oven to 450F. Rinse all of the bones and dry them thoroughly. Arrange the bones in a roasting pan and roast in the oven 30 to 40 mins. until a rich brown colour is achieved. Transfer bones to a stockpot and add ham knuckle. Add water and bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Simmer, skimming the surface as necessary. After about 41/2 hours: Brown the mirepoix and tomato paste in the same roasting pan. when vegetables are soft and very slightly carmelized add to the stockpot. Deglaze the roasting pan with water and add to the stock. Add the sachet d'epices.
Simmer an additional hour (approx. six hours in all). Strain.

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Zharkoye recipe
Ingredients : 300 g beef, 5 ea potatoes ,1 ea onion, 2 tb butter, 1 ea carrot , 1 ea parsley root, 1 ea celery root , 2 ea garlic cloves ,1 tb sour cream , 2 tb chopped green dill and parsley, salt, ground, pepper .
Peel potatoes, wash, cut into cubes and fry in butter until light golden. Slice onion and fry in butter until golden. Cut carrot into small cubes and fry in butter. Cube beef and fry in butter until light brown. In a ceramic pot, put beef, potatoes, onion, carrot, roots, garlic, season with salt and pepper and pour over a little broth. Stew in the oven on average heat for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before, add sour cream and sprinkle with green. Serve Zharkoye with salad from fresh vegetables, pickles, sauerkraut and green.

Beef Stroganoff recipe
Ingredients : 1 kg beef (boneless), 4 tb flour, 4 tb ketchup , 150 g sour cream , 2 c broth , 1 tb flour pounded with butter , 1 ea onion , salt to taste ,pepper
Chop the meat long wise fibers (fibres) and beat the pieces a
little. After that cut the pieces into stripes 2 cm long and 1/2
cm wide. Season and roll them in flour. Fry chopped onion in the
pan and when it is gold brown, put the stripes there. Fry on
hot heat until the meat is light brown.
Make a sauce: fry 1 tb flour pounded with butter for few minutes,
add sour cream, ketchup, salt. Pour the sauce over meat and stew
on a low heat during 15-20 minutes. Don't let sauce to boil,
overwise the meat will be hard.

Shashlik recipe
Ingredients : 3 lb Lamb, cut from leg , 2 sm Onion, finely-minced , 4 lg Garlic, cloves, fine-minced , 2 lg Shallot, minced , 2 tb Parsley, freshly-chopped , 2 1/2 c Pomegranate juice, unsweet, 4 tb Corn oil , 8 ds Cayenne pepper .
Trim away all fat from meat. Cut into 2" chunks. Place in small bowl together with onion, garlic, shallot, parsley, cayenne pepper and pomegranate juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Skewer the meat, using four substantial skewers. Brush with oil. Broil under very high heat, turning often until done. Some prefer it slightly pink (12 minutes). Well done will take about 20 minutes. Remove from skewers and serve on a heated plate with Kasha. VARIATIONS: Include 2 green peppers cut into 12 chunks, 4 tomatoes cut into quarters, and 4 small, white onions, peeled and cut in half. Skewer alternate chunks of vegetable and meat chunks. Proceed according to recipe.

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Sausage recipe

Ingredients : 5 pounds coarse ground pork , 2 ea large chopped onions , 2 tb pressed garlic , 1 c fresh parsley chopped , 3 tb dill seeds , 3 tb caraway seeds , 1 tb black pepper , 1 tb salt, 2 c water
Combine all ingredients and mix then, let sit over night, mix again and stuff into hogcasing.
Bake at 350 deg., approximately 1 hour.

Moscow Chicken recipe
Ingredients : 200 g chicken fillet , 30 g onion , 50 g mushrooms , 50 g sour cream , 1 tb butter 150 g cooked rice , flour, dill, salt, spices; for dough: 60 g flour, 2 tb water ,
Grease chicken fillets with salt and fry in onion and mushrooms. Set a pan with oil aside. Place chicken in a baking pot. Add flour in a pan and fry until golden, pour in sour cream and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over chicken, add chopped dill.
Make dough and roll out a round to cover the pot. Cover the pot tightly and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at the average heat. Serve in pots with rice for garnish.

Mushrooms in Sour cream recipe
Ingredients :1 1/2 kg white mushrooms , 2 tb butter , 2 ea onion ,1 1/2 c beef stock , 1 tbs flour, 1 c sour cream, salt and pepper
Wash mushrooms in cold water, cut into thin pieces, slicing the mushroom along its length to preserve its form. Place butter in covered pan, add the mushrooms, add some finely chopped onions that have been separately cooked, a little salt and pepper, and cook the mushrooms until they are medium soft, at which point reduce the heat to a very low level. Add beef stock, mixed with flour over very low heat until the consistency of gravy has been reached, to mushrooms and then add sour cream and mix. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

The recipes above are taken from the website RusCuisine.Com.

Your Comments & Recipes

If you have something to say, or a recipe to recommend, check out our Russian Food guide on ThisIsLike.Com

Question (7/10/03):
Do cooks use chili powder in any dishes?
Most often black pepper is used in Russian cuisine. Chili powder is quite rare, but can be added to borsch (beetroot soup) or to various meat dishes.

Question (8/11/03):
"do you have any pelmeni recipes? I miss it very much and I don't have any good recipes."
Yes, just posted it :-), enjoy... If you are a vegeterian, then you can substitute beef and pork for potatoes, berries or mushrooms (it will be Vareniki then actually).


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