Borscht terrine with pirags – by Martin Blunos

11 September 2006
Borscht terrine with pirags – by Martin Blunos


(serves eight)

For the terrine (12 portions)
1kg beetroot, peeled
3kg carrots, peeled
8 shallots, peeled
1tsp caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
200g shin of beef
8 leaves gelatine

For the pirags (eight portions)
25g butter
50g onion, finely chopped
1tsp caraway seeds
1tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

For the dough
450g strong white flour
25g fresh yeast
1 level tsp salt
150ml water
150ml full fat milk

For garnish
Chopped shallots
Black pepper
Sea salt
Olive oil
Lemon juice


Put all the ingredients for the terrine except the gelatine into a large pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and skim. Cover and simmer until the beetroot is cooked. Strain the vegetables and meat and set aside. Reboil the remaining juice until you have 500ml of cooking liquor. Soften the gelatine in cold water and melt into the hot liquor. Allow this to cool until just about setting point. Meanwhile, slice the beetroot and carrots into 15mm slices.

Pour a little of the unset jelly into a half-kilogram loaf tin and add a layer of beetroot slices. Season with a little salt and pepper, then pour on a little more unset jelly, then a layer of carrot slices, seasoning, jelly, shallots in a row down the centre, seasoning, then further jelly, carrots and seasoning. Finish with a layer of beetroot. Cover with film and press with a heavy chopping board. Place in the fridge until set.

Shred the cooked beef, melt the butter in a pan, adding the onion, caraway seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook the onions without colour and cover until opaque. Cool and mix with the shredded beef.

Sieve the dry ingredients. Heat the milk and water to blood temperature. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and water. Pour on to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough is formed. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and prove until it doubles in size. Roll out onto a floured surface to about 1cm thickness. Cut in 8cm circles, placing a teaspoonful of the beef mix on the circle. Fold over and crimp the edges to seal. Repeat until all the dough is used. Place the pirags on floured baking trays. Cover with a tea towel and prove until they double in size. Brush with beaten egg and cook in a hot oven (200ºC/400ºF) for between six and eight minutes until golden and when tapped on the bottom they sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

To serve, turn out the terrine by dipping in hot water for a few seconds. Cut with a hot, thin-bladed knife. Place a slice on to a plate, garnish with chopped shallots, black pepper and sea salt and dress with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Serve the hot pirags and a jug of soured cream separately.

Martin Blunos

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