Romanian Potato Salad – Salata Boeuf

Salata Boeuf - happy face decoration

Salata Boeuf - happy face decoration

Come to the Christmas dinner in any Romanian home and you’ll most probably have the opportunity to try Salata Boeuf. After that, chances are that you’ll fall in love with it and miss it wherever you go.

Salata Boeuf, or Salata de Boeuf, is a typical Romanian dish, a potato salad served as appetizer at festive dinners, especially during winter time. Why winter time? Well, because that’s the time when people have pickles in their pantries and because the Boeuf Salad calls for lots of pickles such as gherkins and red bell peppers.

As “boeuf” is the French for “beef”, you’d be tempted to think this is a French recipe. I thought so, too. However, it seems the recipe has Russian origins: it’s similar to the Olivier Salad, which is Russian.

This is my Romanian potato salad recipe, a classic that can’t go wrong.

Take about one pound beef meat and wash it. Since we are going to use the pressure cooker, you can buy cheaper cuts of beef such as brisket, because it’s going to end up tender anyway.

Beef for Salata Boeuf

Beef for Salata Boeuf

Peel three carrots, a celery root, a parsnip and an onion. Put them in the pressure cooker together with the beef and a teaspoon of salt and fill it about three quarters with water. It is important not to fill it above that limit because if you do, the cooker will spit hot water on you and on everything on a 2 feet range around the stove. Please don’t ask me how I know that. I just know ;)

Pressure cooker ready to go

Pressure cooker ready to go

Cook the food for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, wait until all steam is gone, then remove the lid and check to see if the beef is cooked. The vegetables will be cooked for sure. If the beef is tender, you’re done. If not, take the vegetables out of the pressure cooker, put the lid back on and keep on cooking for 30 minutes more.

In another pot, boil 4-5 medium size potatoes. If you want, you can add the potatoes into the pressure cooker with the other ingredients. Be aware that if you do so, they will end up overcooked and you may not be very happy about that. I’m not, so I boil them separately.

After you boil all vegetables, let them cool before you chop them. If you want, you can put them in the fridge and finish the salad in a few hours or even the next day. Anyway, retain the beef broth for other meals. I, for instance, used it for my French onion soup recipe and for the mushrooms quesadilla recipe.

Vegetables for Salata de Boeuf

Vegetables for Salata de Boeuf

Dice the carrots, parsnip and celery root.

Chopped carrots

Diced carrots

Dice 6-7 gherkins.

Diced gherkins

Diced gherkins

Chop 3-4 pickled red bell pepper halves.

Pickled red pepper

Pickled red pepper

Chop the beef.

Chopped beef

Chopped beef

Mix everything in a very large pot. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Optionally you can add two tablespoons of mustard.

Romanian potato salad - work in progess

Romanian potato salad - work in progess

Add about 1/2 pound mayonnaise and mix well.

Spoon the potato salad mixture into bowls. If you prepare this for a festive dinner with more than 4 guests, it’s a good idea to split it into a few bowls, in order to make it easier to reach for everybody at the table.

Salata Boeuf in bowls

Salata Boeuf in bowls

Pour some mayonnaise on top of each potato salad bowl.

Pouring mayonnaise on the potato salad bowls

Pouring mayonnaise on the potato salad bowls

Spread the mayonnaise onto the salad surface as if you were painting a wall. You can use a spoon, fork or knife to do that.

Salata Boeuf with mayonnaise topping

Salata Boeuf with mayonnaise topping

Now it’s time to decorate the bowls. This will turn a simple potato salad into Salata Boeuf. Use gherkins, picked red bell peppers and black olives and let your creativity flow. If you have kids, you can ask them to help you. They will love it. Here’s what I did with my potato salad bowls:

Salata Boeuf decoration ideas

Salata Boeuf decoration idea

… and the second one:

Salata Boeuf - another decoration idea

Salata Boeuf - another decoration idea

Chill the salads in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium size potatoes
  • 1 onion ( to be discarded after boiling or used for some other dish)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 pound beef
  • 6-7 gherkins + 2 for decor
  • 3-4 pickled red bell pepper halves + 2 for decor
  • 5-6 black olives (for decor)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound mayonnaise + three tablespoons more for decorating the bowls
Posted in Potato Salad Recipes, Potato Starter Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cold Baked Potato Salad

Cold baked potato salad

Cold baked potato salad


Potato salads are great side dishes as well as appetizers. Served in nice presentation forms, they can make awesome party foods.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 2 onions, peeled, sliced
  • 3 eggs, boiled hard
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 20-30 black olives, cored
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt, pepper to taste

Preparation:
Heat the oven at 350F. Bake the potatoes for 60 minutes. Try them with a fork to see if they are done. If the fork doesn’t go in easily, extend the baking time by 10-15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool. If you want them to cool faster, you can immerse them in cold water.

Boil the eggs hard. This means that after the water starts to boil, you need to cook them for 15 minutes.

After the eggs are cooked, let them cool and slice them thin. Peel and slice the onion. Cut the olives in quarters. Peel and dice the baked potatoes in chunks of about 1.5 inch thick. Dice the bacon and the red bell pepper. Put all these in a large bowl, add mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix gently until the mayonnaise – vinegar combination forms a film that covers all other ingredients. If needed, add more mayonnaise.

Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes before serving.

Posted in Potato Salad Recipes, Potato Starter Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are nothing else than stuffed jacket potatoes returned to the oven after the inside has been mixed with various fillings such as cheese, egg or bacon. Not only are these potatoes delicious, they are also festive, therefore they can make a hit at Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or at any other celebration.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 large baking potatoes (choose healthy ones, with nice skin)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 bacon slices
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Clean and dry the potatoes, then bake them for about one hour.

Fry the bacon slices in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side. When they are nicely browned, remove from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Crumble them and set them aside. It’s nicer to first brown, then crumble the bacon, because if you do otherwise, it will retain too much oil.

When the potatoes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, then cut them in halves lengthwise. Scoop the interior carefully in a large bowl, leaving the skin intact. Don’t throw away the skins, we are going to need them later on.

Add sour cream, salt, pepper, butter, half the green onions amount and half the cheese to the bowl with potato flesh. Mix well until the composition gets creamy and uniform. You can use a hand mixer, it’s much faster than the manual way.

Spoon the creamy mixture back into the potato shells. Top with the remaining sour cream, onions and bacon. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Posted in Jacket Potatoes, Potato Starter Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add salt, pepper and flour. Stir frequently, until you get a smooth mixture, then start adding the milk, little by little. Bring it to boil and cook for about one minute. Set aside.

Oil a baking dish, then arrange one layer of potatoes on the bottom. Cover with half of the chopped onion, add half cup of diced ham, then pour one third of the milk sauce over it. Add a new layer of potatoes, the rest of chopped onion and ham, then cover with the remaining sauce.

Cover the dish and bake it in the oven for about 90 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with dried oregano, then return to the oven and bake it uncovered for 10 minutes.

Posted in Potato Starter Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latest Recipes

  • Categories