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Kholodets Recipe – Meat Aspic

Kholodets or Meat Aspic is a traditional Ukrainian dish that is served with a horseradish and beet sauce. It is made with meat and bone broth that gelatinizes. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for you!

Kholodets (Meat Aspic) in a white bowl next to a spoon and a bowl of red horseradish.

To make kholodets I simmer the meat low and slow for many, many hours. This extracts all the flavor out of the bones and meat. Combined with the spicy horseradish sauce, this one is a true Ukrainian treat.

Kholodets might not be the best dish to bring to your work potluck, but if it’s is something you grew up eating and have always wondered how to make – here it is!

Types of Kholodets

There are two types of Kholodets. One made with natural gelatine released from the bones (like this recipe) and the other is made by adding the powdered gelatin to the broth (like THIS one).

How to get clear Bone Broth Kholodets

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 and makes it beautifully clear. It’s an extra step that really makes a difference!

Two white bowls of Kholodets (Meat Aspic) next to metal spoons.

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).

Read the bottom of the recipe card to find directions on how to make the Kholodets in the pressure cooker.

Bone Broth (and Kholodets) is Good For You

Aside from the flavor benefits of this dish, did you know that Kholodets is amazing for your 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!

Try these other great recipes:



Meat Aspic (Kholodets)
5 from 2 votes

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. 

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Main
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Keyword: aspic, kholodets
Calories: 148 kcal
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 25 servings


  • 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


How to make Kholodets (Meat Aspic)

  1. 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. Next, remove the meat to a separate bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and wash the pot clean.

  2. Add all the meat back to the pot, cover with fresh water again and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 hours. Constantly remove the impurities and fat that float to the top with a slotted spoon. Do not cover with a lid.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. After that, remove all meat chunks from the broth to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. Meanwhile, set a sieve over a large pot and line with 2-3 layers of paper towel.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Add leaves of parsley for garnish if desired. Refrigerate until completely set, about 4-5 hours or overnight.
  13. Once set, cut into 2x2 squares and serve with beet horseradish.

To make the horseradish sauce:

  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

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. 

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 148 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 521mg23%
Potassium 277mg8%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 821IU16%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Spasiba.

    · Reply
  • As a child who grew up on a farm where we butchered our own meat, I am familiar with this dish, although we used the Polish name for it, salceson. It’s a way of using a great deal of meat that would otherwise be wasted, and can be made from very economical cuts from your butcher as well. My family seasoned it with garlic and sage.

    A few things: it is delicious, but there is no way to convince an eight year old American who wants a plate of chicken nuggets and fries to come within yards of it. It’s one of those dishes you have to be introduced to early on.

    Pigs feet in aspic are delicious as well, although it used to make my hair stand on end when my father ate them.

    If your Slavic relatives have kept you up late with a bottle of Sobieski, this is just the thing to clear your head and restore your faith the next morning.

    There are many regional variants. It is known as brawn or souse in the UK, souse being made with vinegar. There are at least three German types, and practically every country from Spain to Finland has a national recipe.

    Long mis-regarded as peasant food, people are again discovering the joy of dishes of this nature. Pennsylvania scrapple is another. There are folks from the southern US that will crawl across hot coals for a plate of livermush.

    If the meat is finely chopped and vegetables placed artistically in the aspic, it’s a dish that can grace the most formal table.

    · Reply
  • […] the gelling agent is made by cooking meat with some pig’s feet (like in this Kholodets recipe), which naturally have gelatin and release it after long, long, hours of cooking (I have the recipe […]

    · Reply
  • Alyona

    Thank you for a detailed recipe. I make an almost identical version and you’ve included all the tips for making the best kholodets. Without those little secrets/tips it just won’t be the same. Printing your recipe for my family’s recipe book.

    · Reply
  • Luda

    Hello, thank you for recipe. Can you tell me what horseradish sauce did you buy. Because I buy a lot and they not hot enough

    · Reply
    • Hi Luda,
      I know the trouble. We used to get the horseradish sauce from the russian store and were disappointed most of the time as the sauce was hit and miss. Sometimes it was hot, and sometimes there were just remnanants of that “hotness”. I think it’s due to sitting on the shelf too long.

      Now, we buy this one (Beaver brand) and you can get the regular or the “hot” one. Both are a lot spicier than what we got at the russian store.

      · Reply

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