Pork Aspic (Kholodets)
Kholodets is a jellied meat dish. To make true kholodets, your jelly should be based solely on greasy pork broth, without using gelatin. Fill the bottom of a bowl with chopped pork meat and pour the broth over it.
After 24 hours in the fridge, your flavorful meat jelly is ready to be served!
Russian Pork Aspic-Kholodets or Studen
- To a large pot add 2 pigs feet, 1 rear hock, 2 lbs pork loin, 2 lbs of boneless beef chuck, and add enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Next, remove the meat to a clean bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and wash the pot clean.
- Put all the meat back into the pot, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 hours. While cooking, constantly skim the top from impurities with a slotted spoon. Do not cover with a lid.
- Keep an eye on the water level and add more if needed to keep the meat submerged at all times.
- Now add 2 onions, 2 carrots, 3 stalks celery, 15 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and 1 Tbsp of salt to the stock. Continue simmering for 1 more hour.
- Transfer all the meat chunks from the broth to a large bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the remaining vegetables.
- Lastly, add 6-8 cloves of minced garlic and 1 bunch of parsley to the broth and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the salt without disturbing the broth too much as not to break any remaining impurities.
- Once the meat has cooled, discard the pig’s feet, any bones, fat, or skin. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and add to a baking dish in an even layer. To make the meat aspic in individual portions, divide the meat between deep soup bowls or other small but deep containers. Cover and refrigerate until ready for the next step.
- Set a sieve lined with 2-3 layers of paper towels over a large pot. Carefully drain the broth to remove any solids, fat, or impurities. Change the paper towels as the broth stops flowing through. To get an absolutely fat-free broth, you might need to drain the broth through paper towels several times. Any fat left in the broth will cover the aspic in white patches as it solidifies if not removed at this stage.
- Pour half of the broth, cooled to room temperature, over the meat. Skim any fat that floats to the top with a spoon. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to slightly set. Keep the other half of the broth mixture at room temperature as the first half sets in the fridge.
- Once lightly set, remove the kholodets from the fridge and pour the remaining half of the broth over the top covering the meat completely. Add parsley for garnish if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set, about 4-5 hours or overnight.