Braised in gherkins brine
There is a whole range of recipes in Russian cuisine in which cucumber brine plays an important role (such as the dishes Rassolnik and Soljanka, a sour soup). By all accounts, these are traditional recipes that have come down from the Middle Ages. We owe the following recipe to the secret agent Hektor Maille, who, on his part, got it from his friend Ruslan Rachmaninow and had even prepared it in his private kitchen in Moskow.
Instead of breast of veal, one can use other types of meat, like pork – but naturally the preparation time will vary. The vegetables can also be varied, but one should use cucumber brine as the basic stock. The spiciness of the dish depends primarily on the amount of chilly flakes used in the vinegar. According to the brand and type, these chilly flakes range in flavour from mild to fiery hot. In Russia, people normally eat mild food – but when a Lemusan cook stands before the stove… How spicy the dish should be, however, is sometimes more than a question of the palate.
Breast of veal «Rachmaninow» has a mildly sour, full flavour. The rind of the meat gives the whole dish a lovely, red colour. Apart from the chillies, one should, for aesthetic reasons, also slice the vegetables into long, fine strips. Breast of veal «Rachmaninow» is best accompanied by jacket potatoes or by boiled potatoes sprinkled with a pinch of dill.
1 kg breast of veal
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 dl pickled gherkins brin (the liqui, in which the pickled gherkins are sold)
1 dl white wine
1 dl strong beef stock
100 g raw beetroot, cut into stripes
2 onions, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
100 g pickled gherkins, sliced thin and long
50 g chilies in vinegar, sliced
50 to 100 g pickled chanterelles
30 g capers in vinegar, whole
Sour Cream (as replenishment on the table)
The sauce must be relatively watery. If you like it thicker, you can add a pat of cold butter to it right at the end.
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
First Publication: 30-3-2009
Modifications: 23-1-2011, 18-6-2011, 13-11-2011, 12-12-2011