Kholodets (Meat Aspic) Recipe
Kholodets or Meat Aspic is a traditional Ukrainian dish that is served with horseradish and beet sauce. It is basically made with meat and bone broth that gelatinizes. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for you!
The meat is simmered low and slow for many, many hours which extracts all the flavor out of the bones and meat. Combined with the spiciness of the horseradish sauce, this one is a true Ukrainian treat.
Kholodets might not be the best dish to bring to your work potluck, but if Kholodets is something you grew up eating and have always wondered how to make – here it is!
Types of Kholodets
This recipe for Kholodets is made with natural gelatin as the simmering of the pig’s feet and rear hock is what releases enough natural gelatin to set up the bone broth.
How to get clear Bone Broth
Anytime I make broth, I like it to be clear so that you can see the meat through it like through a piece of glass. Putting the broth through the paper towels several times is what takes out all the impurities and fat out of the broth and makes it beautifully clear. It’s an extra step that really makes a difference!
Instant Pot Kholodets
Kholodets is one of the most amazing things to make in an Instant Pot, because not only it cuts down the cooking time, it produces the clearest broth without any effort from you (you know, no skimming).
Chicken soup was the first thing I made when I got a pressure cooker, and I was stunned when I opened the lid to find the broth as clear as it was! Just try it and you’ll love it! Read the bottom of the recipe card to find directions on how to make the Kholodets in the pressure cooker.
Bone Broth is Good For You
By the way, aside from the flavor benefits of this dish, Kholodets is amazing for your own bone and joint health! The collagen, glutamine, and glycine which are extracted out of the bones and released during cooking are really good for the immune system and gut health. You can probably google “bone broth” to learn more about this.
Try it this holiday season and let me know what you think!
Kholodets is traditionally served alongside Golubtsi or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls check my detailed recipe!
Kholodets or Meat Aspic is a traditional Ukrainian dish that is served with horseradish and beet sauce. It is made with meat and bone broth that gelatinizes.
- 2 pigs feet
- 1 pig's rear hock
- 2 lbs pork loin fat trimmed
- 2 lbs beef boneless beef chuck fat trimmed
- 2 large onions peeled
- 2 large carrots peeled
- 3 stalks celery rinsed
- 1 bunch parsley washed under running water
- 1 head garlic peeled, minced
- 15 black peppercorns whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 Tbsp kosher salt
For the Beet & Horseradish Sauce
- 1 large beet cooked, finely grated
- 3 Tbsp hot horseradish sauce (or more if you like it more spicy)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Salt sugar, vinegar - to taste
How to make Kholodets (Meat Aspic)
- To a large 8 qt pot add 2 pigs feet, 1 rear hock, 2 lbs pork loin, 2 lbs of boneless beef chuck and cover everything by about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Then remove the meat to a separate bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and wash the pot.
- Add all the meat pieces back to the pot, cover with water again, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 hours constantly removing impurities and fat that float to the top with a slotted spoon. Do not cover with a lid.
- If the water evaporates leaving the meat pieces uncovered, add enough hot boiled water to cover the meat. To help keep the meat submerged put a smaller sized metal lid or a bowl on top of the meat. The weight of the lid/bowl will keep it submerged.
- Now add 2 onions, carrots, 3 stalks celery, 15 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and 1 Tbsp of salt to the broth. Continue cooking for 1 more hour.
- Lastly, add 1 head of minced garlic, 1 bunch of parsley and cook for 2-4 minutes. Do not forget to skim the broth all throughout the cooking process. Taste the broth and adjust the salt amount.
- After that, remove all meat chunks from the broth to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, set a sieve over a large pot and line with 2-3 layers of paper towel.
Pour the broth through the paper towel-lined sieve. Change the paper towels as the broth stops flowing through (the fat creates a barrier and prevents the liquid from going 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. For best results, cool the broth to room temperature before using in the next steps.
Rip the cooled meat off the bones and shred to small pieces using two forks. Discard the pig's feet, any bones, skin or fat.
- Transfer the shredded meat pieces to a deep 9x12 glass dish. To make the meat aspic in individual portions, portion the meat between soup bowls or other small but deep containers.
- Pour the cooled to room temperature broth over the meat. Skim any fat that floats to the top with a spoon if needed. The meat should be covered by the broth.
- Add leaves of parsley for garnish if desired. Refrigerate until completely set, about 4-5 hours or overnight.
- Once set, cut into 2x2 squares and serve with beet horseradish.
To make the horseradish sauce:
- Combine 1 large cooked and finely grated beet with 3 Tbsp of Horseradish Sauce and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Add sugar, salt, and vinegar as needed, to taste.
Add enough water to only cover the meat. If too much water is added, the Kholodets might not firm up.
Do not cover the pot with a lid, this will create cloudy broth and cloudy kholodets.
You can use any other kind of meat instead of pork loin and the beef chuck, equal by weight to the one listed in the recipe.
Cooling the broth before pouring it over the shredded meat, prevents the fat in the meat from melting and floating to the top.
Instant Pot Kholodets:
Follow with the ingredients in the recipe but only add enough water to the pot to barely cover the meat. While cooking in the Instant Pot the water does not evaporate like it does when cooked on the stove top, so you do not need to add extra.
Cook on low pressure for 4 hours. If your Instant pot does not cook for longer than 90 minutes at a time (like some do), then just restart it when the time expires and continue doing so until a total 4 hours is reached.
Once the cooking time is complete, allow Natural Pressure Release (NPR), then open the lid, skim the impurities that floated to the top, remove the meat carefully and continue with the rest of the instructions on how to clarify the broth and beyond.
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