“BOEUF” Salad

This recipe is said to derive from an old Russian recipe invented by a French chef working at the Hermitage restaurant in Moscow, in the 1800s.  The initial recipe was made with capers, veal tongue, truffles, smoked duck breast, lettuce, crabs, eggs, and a special mayonnaise sauce. Throughout history, most people have changed the recipe and have replaced expensive ingredients with more common ones that they could afford and also with ingredients that could be found all year long without difficulty.

As a result this next salad has become more and more popular and is now one of the dishes that is served in any Romanian home.

What you need:

–          1 kg/2.2 lbs potatoes

–          1kg/2.2 lbs carrots

–          1-2 parsley roots

–          2-3 parsnip roots

–          1 can of peas (optional)

–          50g/0.11 lbs olives (green or black, whichever you prefer)

–          2 eggs and 100 ml/3.38oz sunflower oil and a tsp of mustard (if you want to make home-made mayo); if not, then you need about 150ml/5oz mayo from the store

–          300g/0.66lbs pickled cucumbers

–          1 kg/2.2 lbs chicken or turkey breast (you can also use veal instead)

–          1 tbsp all spice

–          Salt, pepper

Peel and wash the carrots, potatoes, parsley and parsnip. Put them in a large pot together with the meat and 1 tbsp all spice and bring them to a boil. Be careful as to not over-boil the vegetables, you do not want to make them into a puree.

When they’ve boiled, separate them from the water they’ve boiled in and when and sufficiently cooled down, chop them up into cubes. By the way, the leftover water in which the meat and vegetables have boiled makes for an excellent chicken soup – you can just add some noodles or dumplings and the soup’s ready!

After you chopped the vegetables up and put them in a bowl, chop the rest up: the meat and the pickled cucumbers.  Add the mayo, salt, pepper and mix them all up.

You can decorate it with olives.

MAYO: If you want to make the mayo yourself, this is what you have to do: Separate the yolks from the whites, you only need the yolks. Put them in a bowl and add a bit of mustard (a tsp). Start stirring slowly with a wooden spoon and slowly adding a pinch of oil, just a bit at a time. You have to continually stir until you see the mixture thicken and become more and more of a paste similar to mayo’s density.

Be careful to not pour too much oil at a time, it will ruin the mayo. It’s a pretty lengthy process and you have to be patient.

To make the mayo even tastier, you can take a cup, fill it with a pinch of sugar and 1-2 tbsp plain vinegar (preferably not balsamic). Stir until the sugar has melted and pour it over the mayo. Be careful to not make the mayo too thin, though.

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