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
- 2 pigs feet
- 1 pig’s rear hock
- 2 lbs boneless beef chuck
- 2 lbs pork loin
- 2 large onions
- 2 large carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 15 black whole peppercorn
- 2 bay Leaves
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 2 qts cold water
- 1 bunch parsley fresh optional
- 7 cloves of garlic
Preparing the Broth:
- In a large pot, combine 2 pig’s feet, 1 rear hock, 2 pounds of pork loin, and 2 pounds of boneless beef chuck. Add enough water to fully submerge the meat.
- Bring the pot to a boil and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Afterward, carefully remove all the meat and transfer it to a clean bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and thoroughly clean the pot.
Simmering the Meat:
- Return all the meat to the cleaned pot and cover it with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil once more.
- Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 5 hours. During this time, continuously skim the surface to remove any impurities using a slotted spoon. Do not cover the pot with a lid.
- Monitor the water level carefully; add more as necessary to ensure the meat remains fully immersed. If required, place a smaller lid on top of the meat to keep it submerged.
- Add 2 onions, 2 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 15 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon of salt to the stock. Continue simmering for an additional hour.
Preparing the Meat:
- Remove all the meat chunks from the broth and allow them to cool to room temperature. Discard the remaining vegetables.
- Lastly, add 6-8 minced garlic cloves and a bunch of parsley to the broth. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the salt to your preference, taking care not to disturb the broth too much to avoid reintroducing impurities.
- Once the meat has cooled, discard the pig’s feet, any bones, fat, or skin. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and place them evenly in a baking dish. Alternatively, divide the meat among deep soup bowls or other small but deep containers if making individual portions.
- Cover and refrigerate the meat until you’re ready for the next step.
Straining the Broth:
- 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. Replace the paper towels as needed, as fat may create a barrier that prevents the liquid from passing through.
- For a completely fat-free broth, you may need to strain it through paper towels several times. Removing all fat is crucial to avoid white patches in the aspic when it solidifies.
- Cool the broth to room temperature before using it in the next steps. Place the hot broth pot in a sink filled with cold/icy water and stir occasionally until the broth reaches room temperature.
Preparing the Aspic:
- Pour half of the room temperature broth over the meat. Skim off any floating fat with a spoon. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to allow it to slightly set.
- Maintain the other half of the broth mixture at room temperature while the first half sets in the fridge.
- Once the aspic has lightly set, remove it from the fridge and pour the remaining half of the broth over the top, ensuring it covers the meat completely. Add parsley for garnish if desired.