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Jarkoye for a Hearty Meal

Russian weather particularly in the winter months can chill you to the bone. The traditional meals in Russia therefore tend to be comfort foods that are hearty, filling and consumed without much delicacy or as separate courses. The severe climate in Russia also means that the vegetables consumed are those that grow below the ground, unaffected by frost the way the green leafy or soft vegetables would be. This is not to say that Russian food is not delicious

A dish which many people enjoy thoroughly is Jarkoye. Once tasted never forgotten is how some would describe it. Simple enough to make, part of the uniqueness of this traditional Russian dish lies in the fact that Jarkoye is cooked in individual crock-pots for each person who will partake in the meal. Potluck has a whole new meaning here – if you are not lucky enough to be invited there is no pot for you!

Some recipes mention tender meat, game, lamb and even fish though most use pork. Traditionally Jarkoye is meat and vegetables stewed in a ceramic pot and served hot in the same pot. Everyone loves the delicate flavor of stewed pork slices and tasty vegetable ragout cooked in a hot oven.

The individual ovenproof pots are shaped like bell peppers and known as gorshochky in Russian. The following recipe is one portion to be cooked and served in a little crock-pot that can hold 500ml.

4 potatoes
200 g pork
1 carrot
1/2 a large onion
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil
Mushrooms and herbs (optional)

Peel and cube the potatoes. Chop the carrot and onion and stew in a pan until light brown. Chop the meat and fry a little. Pour a little oil on the bottom of the crock-pot, and then put pieces of meat and potatoes, carrot and onion. Add salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms and add to the pot along with some herbs. Cover the crock-pot and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until done. Serve hot in the crock-pot – perfect for a cold winter day!


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