Holodets, also known as studen’, is a traditional Eastern European dish that is popular in Slavic cuisine. This meat jello is also called holodets, kholodets or aspic.
It is a jellied meat dish made by simmering meat, typically pork or beef, along with bones, cartilage, and other connective tissues, until they release gelatin.
The resulting broth is then cooled and allowed to set, forming a firm jelly-like consistency.
It’s often made for holidays or some festive celebrations. It’s savory, and it’s served cold with horseradish or mustard.
Why you’ll love it
It takes hours to make original meat aspic. This simplified recipe below could be made in under 90 minutes and enjoyed several hours later.
It’s a nutrient-rich dish.
This recipe is low-carb and gluten-free.
Beef Gelatin. The original meat aspic recipe is using pork gelatin made with pigs’ legs. It gets the gelatinous texture naturally after cooking for many hours. Using beef gelatin in this recipe helps speed the process and get the meat stock set into jello molds in less time. I like to use unflavored beef gelatin.
Chicken Wings. I used shredded chicken meat, but you can make it with chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs.
Onion. Vidalia onion adds sweetness to the dish, but you can use white or yellow onions.
Carrot. Whole carrots would work the best here.
How to Make Holodets
Step 1. Gather the ingredients. Place chicken wings in a large pot and pour cold water. Add sliced in half onion and sliced carrot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes.
Step 2. Once cooked, take the wings and carrot out and discard the onion. Add salt to taste and let the broth cool down a little. Once cool, separate the meat from the bones, and slice carrot in circles. Add gelatin to the broth while continually stirring, and let stand for five more minutes.
Step 3. Take four small serving bowls. We’ll use them to mold the meat jelly. Add boiled carrot slices at the bottom for decoration, add chicken meat, and pour the broth to fill the bowls.
Step 4. Set bowls in the refrigerator for approx. 4-6 hours. Once set, serve with horseradish or mustard on the side.
Is this your first time making a meat gelatin recipe? If so, here are some helpful tips for setting you up for success.
Boiling the chicken with the vegetables helps add flavor to the stock.
Make sure the chicken is fully cooked. The internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees.
Feel free to use other parts of the chicken, like chicken legs or other meat to use for the base of the aspic.
Store any leftover chicken gelatin in the fridge. It will store for 2-3 days.
Serve cold with horseradish or mustard.
what to serve holodets with
These are just a few suggestions, and the choice of accompaniments may vary based on personal preferences and regional traditions.
Mustard: A classic condiment to serve with holodets is mustard. The tangy and slightly spicy flavor of mustard adds a zesty kick that complements the richness of the dish.
Pickles: Pickles, such as dill pickles or sauerkraut, provide a refreshing and tangy contrast to the savory and jellied holodets. The combination of flavors and textures adds complexity to each bite.
Horseradish: Grated horseradish, either freshly grated or prepared horseradish sauce, is another traditional accompaniment for holodets. Its pungent and sharp flavor cuts through the richness of the dish, providing a distinctive taste.
Bread or Crackers: Serve holodets with slices of fresh crusty bread or plain crackers. They provide a neutral base to enjoy the flavors and textures of holodets while adding a satisfying crunch.
Fresh Herbs: Garnish the holodets with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill, before serving. The herbs add a pop of freshness and a vibrant visual appeal.
Rye Bread or Blini: For a more substantial serving, you can enjoy holodets with slices of traditional rye bread or mini blini (thin pancakes). These bread options provide a hearty and flavorful base for the holodets.
Leftovers and storage
Holodets can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. The chilled jelly may develop a more pronounced flavor as it rests.
To store leftover holodets, follow these guidelines to maintain its quality and freshness:
Cool the holodets: Allow the holodets to cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating. Placing hot holodets directly in the refrigerator can raise its overall temperature and potentially affect the quality.
Use airtight containers: Transfer the leftover holodets into airtight containers or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. This helps prevent moisture loss and contamination from other odors in the refrigerator.
Label and date: To keep track of the storage time, label the containers with the date of preparation. Holodets can typically be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Refrigerate promptly: Place the containers of holodets in the refrigerator as soon as possible after they have cooled. Maintaining a proper temperature helps inhibit the growth of bacteria and ensures food safety.
Keep separate from strong-smelling foods: If storing other foods in the same refrigerator, try to keep holodets away from strong-smelling items as it can absorb odors.
Serve chilled: When ready to serve the leftover holodets, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly. Holodets is typically enjoyed cold, so no additional heating is necessary.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is aspic?
Aspic is savory meat jello. This recipe uses diced chicken and meat gelatin.
How long does it take to set up the meat jello?
It will take around 4-6 hours for the gelatin to set up. I recommend making this in advance of when you plan to serve it up. That way, you ensure it has enough time to set up fully and hold the form.
Can I use different meat?
If you want to use different meat for your meat jello, go ahead. Just use cooked meat before you make it into jello.
Is meat jelly healthy?
Meat jelly is a healthy dish. You will find it can have an excellent source of collagen, protein, and nutrients.
Gather the ingredients. Place chicken wings in a pot and fill with water. Add sliced in half onion and sliced carrot. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Once cooked, take wings and carrot out, discard the onion. , Add salt to taste and let the broth cool down a little. Once cool, separate the meat from the bones, slice carrot in circles. Add gelatin to the broth while continually stirring and let stand for 5 more minutes.
Take 4 small serving bowls. Add carrot slices at the bottom for decoration, add chicken meat, and pour the broth to fill the bowls.
Set bowls in the refrigerator for approx. 4-6 hours. Once set serve with horseradish or mustard on the side.
Boiling the chicken with the vegetables helps add flavor to the stock.Make sure the chicken is fully cooked. The internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees.Feel free to use other parts of the chicken or other meat to use for the base of the aspic jello.Store any leftover chicken gelatin in the fridge. It will store for 2-3 days.Serve cold with horseradish or mustard.If possible, use organic chicken and gelatin from grass-fed cows.
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
Get new recipes and tips via email when you subscribe!
Hi there, I’m Natalia. I’m so glad you stopped by! Here you’ll find the most useful cooking tips and answers to food questions. I focus on creating simple recipes and making sure they are extra flavorful and worthy of your time! Browse our step-by-step recipes and explore new flavors!