Buzhenina is a traditional Russian starter. It is pork baked in 1 whole piece and served cold and sliced. Before getting into the oven, the meat is marinated in a salted brine and then stuffed with sliced garlic and/or carrots, and then covered with spices. Aromatic and tender slices of Russian buzhenina will be a perfect traditional finger food and an authentic treat for your guests.
Back in the day it making buzhenina was a long process but with the modern technique it is done very simple and straightforward.
What cuts of meat are used in buzhenina?
For roasted pork buzhenina take 1 whole piece of pork, preferably with some fat. Go for shoulder cuts or loin cuts (blade cut will be fattier, other leaner loin cuts that are suitable for roasting).
The leaner the cut the more careful you should be not to overcook it and make it dry.
How to roast buzhenina pork?
You can roast buzhenina pork in several layers of foil or in a oven bag. Some people boil buzhenina and leave it cool down in the water.
Roasted Russian buzhenina in an oven bag – recipe
Cooking time: 30 min preparations + 7 hours marinating+1 hour roasting
1 piece of pork (up to 1300 gr/53 oz)
Water – 2.5 litres (0.6 gallon)
Cosher salt – 7 table spoons
Bay leaves – 10 (for brine) and 3 (for roast)
Garlic – 1/5 bulb
Carrot – 1/5
Spices: bay leaves (broken to small pieces), pepper corns (crushed), mustard seeds, thyme, terragon
- Brine: Boil 2.5 litres of water and pour into a large pot. Add 7 table spoons of salt and 10 bay leaves, cool down.
Wash the pork cut, dry it up and pierce the meat with a toothpick in different places. Put the meat into the brine (it should be completely covered with water) and leave in a fridge over night or 7 hours.
- Prepare the spices and finely chop garlic and carrot. Set the oven to 190 C/375 F.
Take the meat out of the brine, make cuts on both sides with a sharp knife and put a slice of garlic and carrot into each cut.
Cover both sides with spices and put the meat into the oven bag, leaving some space around it. Pierce the back in a few places with a tooth pick.
Roast for about 1 hour.
To check if the meat is cooked, pierce it though in the middle with a sharp knife– if the juice is pinky, the meat is not ready, if the juice is clear, the meat is cooked. Watch out not to overcook.
- Cool the buzhenina down. Enjoy!
Buzhenina is usually served cold, cut into slices as a starter.
You can also serve large pieces of buzhenina with a side dish of your choice.
Herring butter (Seleyodochnoe maslo, Селедочное масло)
Herring butter is a Russian finger foods spread. This savoury paste can be spread over crisps or canape style bread, especially coriander flavoured Borodinsky bread. It can also be served in a small bowl for the guest to spread it over snacks themselves.
In the basic and traditional recipe you blend 2 parts of pickled herring fillet cut into small pieces with 1 part of unsalted butter. Then refrigerate. As straightforward as possible!
There are also a slightly more complex recipe, where such ingredients as a bit of mustard, hard boiled egg, lemon juice and herbs are aded. In this variation it is more of Vorschmak-style bread.
Recipe 1: Classical herring butter
300 gr pickled herring –
200 gr unsalted softened butter
- Cut the boneless pickled herring fillet into small pieces.
- Combine with unsalted butter and blitz the mixture.
- Put in a form you wish to later serve the herring butter in and cool down.
Recipe 2. Herring butter a la Vorschmak
300 gr pickled herring –
200 gr unsalted softened butter
1 hard boiled egg
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch parsley, chopped
- Cut the herring into small pieces (smaller then the pieces needed for Herring under fur coat salad). Break the boiled egg with the fork.
- Combined prepare herring and egg with other ingredients. Put into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
(Morkov’ po-koreisky, Rus. морковь по-корейски)
Recipe by Russian Koreans, a variation of kimchi
For many decades tubs of this spicy salad have been sold at every market and supermarket. It is even used in some hot-dogs. Korean style carrot will be a great bite at a party table, it is quite often served as “zakuska” (snacks before the main meal).
Can carrot can be a piquant appetizer? It most certainly can! Proof of concept – “Korean style carrot” salad: crunchy, spicy and sour strips of fermented carrot can be a great starter or a side bite.
This recipe was invented by Russian Koreans who, living in Russia, were longing for the top Korean food – kimchi. As the main ingredient, nappa cabbage, was not readily available, the recipe with carrots was invented. It turned out to be a masterpiece and its fame in no time spread beyond ethnic enclaves.
If you like kimchi, or if the description “crunchy, sour and spicy” is interesting for you, make this recipe, you will love it! 🙂
This extremely easy and quick zakuska – finger food – is a modern Russian recipe. It will take only several minutes to prepar e and can be a great bite to eat. You will need thin flatbread lavash
that is usually available in Russian or Turkish shops. In the USA lavash should be also available in Walmart stores.
• If you prepare the snack in advance you can wrap it with cling film or foil and put in the fridge. Cut into pieces before serving – this will prevent the lavash bread from drying up
- Spreading the cream cheese
- Adding salmon, dill and avocado
- Rolling up, pressing at every tur
- The final look
What can be easy to make and exquisite at the same time? Buttered bread with caviar, of course!
In English language, only fish eggs of Acipenseridae family, are called caviar. This product is black. The rest fish eggs are referred to as “roe”. In Russian though, all fish eggs are called “caviar” (“ikra”), and additional clarity is added by an adjective. So far in Russian there is black caviar (i.e. caviar), red caviar (salmon roe), or capelin caviar (capelin roe) etc.
Salmon roe, or red caviar in Russian, is not as priced as black caviar, yet also a delicacy. Mini buttered breads with salmon roe will be a great finger food and give a Russian twist to your party.
How to make breads:
Butter good white bread with good butter, spread caviar and decorate with parsley. Baguette will be good, or toast bread additionally warmed up in an oven.
You can cut bread into miniature pieces. Do not spread too much caviar/roe as some guests can find it too salty.