at the Castle
There was a quite noticeable lack of source material for this feast. The only period
reference that I could find was ‘Domostroi’, written during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
Most of the book deals with the accepted interaction between the various members of
the society at that time and expected social and religious behavior. There was very little
mentioned of cooking. The book includes only a handful of recipes (7). Of those, three
were for alcoholic beverages and the others for turnips or cabbage. What was
somewhat more useful were two ‘books’ included in ‘Domostroi’ that detail the ‘foods that
are to be placed on the table’ at various time of the year. It was from these lists that the
menu dishes were drawn. Many of the dishes mentioned are still found on Russian
I sourced as many recipes as possible from ‘A Gift to Young Housewives’ by Elena
Molokhovets, written in the late 19th century. This is the oldest recipe source that I was
able to find. Some others come from more modern sources that claim the recipes are
traditional. A few of the recipes are simple enough that they were probably not written
down in period. These will have no reference mentioned. The modern (post 1600)
recipes were ‘aged’ either by removing post period or new world ingredients, or by
substituting a period, old world ingredient that would have the same effect. Many of the
dishes were altered to represent what could have been served in period in Muscovy.
One recipe actually came from a period Italian source, but provides a dish that would
probably have been served almost universally across Europe by cultures that consume a
large amount of dairy product.
The 1st course features a fast day menu. This type of food made up about 40% of the
Muscovite diet at the time. This course contains no meat or dairy ingredient. If these
dishes were served on a meat day, they would probably have been prepared using meat
stock in place of water, or served with a sour cream garnish. In order to create a more
vegetarian friendly feast, vegetable dishes that call for meat stock as the liquid were
prepared with vegetable stock or water instead. Since the vegetation in these dishes
has a stronger flavor on its own this will have very little impact on the overall flavor of the
dish. Look for notes in the recipe listing and menu to identify these dishes.
I apologize that this is not a true period feast. I have endeavored to provide what might
have been served in Muscovy during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. I believe it to be a
On the Table
Творок (сыр горшка) *
Tvorog Pot Cheese
Rzhanoi Khleb Rye Bread
Квашеная Капуста *
Kvashenaya Kapusta Brined Cabbage
Кислые Репы *
Kislaja Repa Brined Turnips
Соленые Грибы *
Solenaja Griby Salted Mushrooms
For a Fast Day
Schi Cabbage Soup
Лосось с Укропом
Losos’ s Ukropom Dilled Salmon
Borshch Beet Soup
Тхушоное Мясо С Подливкои Из Хрена
Thushonoye Myaso S Podlivkoi Iz Khrena Venison Stew with Horseradish
Pirozhky Small Fried Pies
Blinchiky Cheese-filled Crepes
Pel’meni Dumplings filled with Meat or Cheese
Вареники с вишнями *
Vareniki s vishnjami Dumplings filled with Cherries
Копченая Утка, Испеченная
Kopchenaja Utka, Ispechennaja Baked Smoked Duck
Zavarnojj krem Rennet Custard
* These dishes are suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians.
# Cheese and mushroom versions are suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Творок (сыр горшка)
2 qt fresh whole milk ¼ - ½ t salt
½ t Flora Danica culture or 1 c very
Warm milk to 86° F in a non-corrosive pan. Add culture, mix well. If using buttermilk,
blend with the fresh milk before heating. Allow the milk to sit at room temperature or
slightly warmer, for 24 hours. At this point if should resemble thick yogurt and will pull
away from the sides of the pan when tilted slightly. Set the pan of curd in a pot of hot
water (180° – 195° F) and maintain that temperature for 30-45 minutes without stirring.
Allow to cool to near room temperature. Ladle into a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Tie the corners of the cheesecloth and hang until the cheese is the desired consistency.
Reserve some of the whey to blend into the cheese if needed. Blend in salt. Makes
about 2 cups.
1 ¼ c whey 1 1/3 c bread flour (approx)
¼ c lard or shortening 1 T wheat gluten
2 T blackstrap molasses 1 t salt
½ c buckwheat flour 1 T caraway seeds
1 ½ c rye flour 1 T (pkg) active dry yeast
Heat whey to 110° F, add fat, molasses, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes (until yeast
doubles). Add buckwheat and rye flours, beat into a thick batter. Add bread flour,
gluten, salt, and caraway seeds. Knead until satiny, about 20 minutes. Let rise until
doubled, punch down. Repeat. Shape into an oblong loaf, let rise until doubled. Bake
at 360° F for approximately 40 minutes. Brush with butter or other fat to soften top crust.
5 lb. cabbage Water or whey (if needed)
3 Tbsp. pickling and canning salt
Shred or slice the cabbage. Layer the cabbage and salt in a corrosion resistant food
safe container. Place a plate or other similar object on top of the cabbage. Place a 5-8
lb. weight on top of the plate. A gallon jug full of water works well. The salted cabbage
should for enough brine to cover the vegetation in 6-8 hours. If this does not happen,
add enough water or whey to cover the cabbage. Place the container in a cool (about
60ºF) place. It is very important that the cabbage is immersed in the brine. Cabbage
not covered with brine will mold and spoil. Start checking the kraut after about 4 days. I
prefer it after a week or 10 days. After the sauerkraut is fermented to your liking you can
store it in the refrigerator to slow the action. The kraut can be stored in the crock if
desired, but it will continue to sour as time passes. Makes 3-4 quarts.
5 lb. grated turnips Whey or water as needed
3 Tbsp. pickling and canning salt
Layer the grated turnips and salt in a corrosion resistant container. Place a plate or
similar object on top of the turnips, and place a weight on the plate. The weight serves
two purposes; to gently press the roots to extract some moisture, and to keep the roots
under the forming brine. Sufficient brine should form within 6-8 hours to cover the roots.
If this does not happen, add enough water or whey to cover the roots. Wait 4-5 days.
Check daily after this time. If mold or slime forms on the surface of the brine simply skim
it off. This is normal and does not mean that the roots have spoiled. When the roots
have soured to your liking they are done. I prefer them after about 10 days. The roots
may be stored in the refrigerator (this will slow the fermentation) or left in the crock. If
left in the crock they will continue to sour. It is essential that the brine cover the roots.
Roots not covered by brine will mold and spoil. Immersion in brine makes the difference
in soured roots and spoiled roots. Makes about 3 quarts.
A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p. 208
1 lb whole button mushrooms 2 T fresh dill or 2 t dried dill
2 T pickling and canning salt 9 whole cloves
3 bay leaves ½ c hot water
1 t peppercorns
Rinse mushrooms. Place a layer of mushrooms, stems up, in a 2-quart crock or canning
jar. Sprinkle them with a portion of the salt and spices. Continue layering the
mushrooms (always stems up) until you’ve used them all. Pour the hot water over all,
shaking the container gently to dissolve the salt. Try not to disturb the mushrooms
Place a plate or similar object on top of the mushrooms, and place a weight on the plate.
Place in a cool, dark place. After a few days, check to see that the mushrooms are
immersed in liquid. If not, add a little more salt water. The mushrooms will be ready in a
Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p. 156
2 T butter salt
1 lg onion, julienne sliced pepper
5 c stock or water dill
¾ lb white cabbage, cut up sour cream for garnish
½ c sauerkraut
Saute onion in butter. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and
sauerkraut. Cover and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
Check seasoning. Serve with sour cream. Serves 8.
Note: Schi for this feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish.
Лосось с Укропом
Losos’ s Ukropom
1 ¾ - 2 lb salmon ½ t pepper
1 T olive oil 1 clove garlic
1 t salt 1 t dried dill weed or 1 T fresh
Brush salmon with oil; sprinkle with spices. Broil for 4 minutes per side or poach for 18-
20 minutes. Serves 4.
1 c buckwheat groats 1 t salt
2 c stock or water ½ t pepper
Bring stock to a boil; add salt and pepper. Add groats; cook until moisture is absorbed,
about 30 minutes. Serves 8.
Note: Kasha for feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish.
Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 158
1 ½ lb whole beets ½ t salt
1 qt meat stock or water ¼ t pepper
1 onion 2 c sour cream for garnish
1 c sauerkraut
Clean beets, boil whole, reserve 1 ½ cups water. Dice onion small. Peel and shred
beets. Add beets, onion, and reserved beet liquor to stock. Simmer until onions are
soft, season. Add sauerkraut. Serve with sour cream. Serves 8.
Note: Borshch for this feast was made with water to produce a vegetarian dish.
Тхушоное Мясо С Подливкои Из Хрена
Thushonoye Myaso S Podlivkoi Iz Khrena
Adapted from A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 172
3 lb stewing meat 2 T butter
¼ c butter 3 T flour
2 lg onions, finely chopped ½ c prepared horseradish
4 cloves garlic, crushed 3 T prepared mustard
2 med carrots, finely chopped ¼ c sour cream
2 c beef broth Salt and pepper to taste
2 c dry white wine Minced parsley
2 bay leaves
Brown the meat in ¼ c butter, remove from pan and keep warm. Cook the onions,
garlic, and carrots for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat. Spread the vegetables
into an even layer over the bottom of the pan and place the browned meat on top of
them. Pour the beef broth and wine over all; add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for
1½ hours, until meat is tender. Strain broth. Reserve the meat and vegetables. Return
broth to pan and reduce to about 2 cups. Make a roux of the butter and flour. Stir into
the reduced broth, and horseradish and mustard. Gradually stir in the sour cream; do
not allow the sauce to boil. Check seasoning; pour sauce over meat and vegetables and
warm through. Serve garnished with parsley. Makes 8 servings.
Small Fried Pies
The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 90
¾ lb butter 1 t salt
6 c flour 2 c sour cream
3 egg yolks 1 beaten egg
Crumble butter and flour together with fingertips. Stir in egg yolks lightly beaten with
salt. Add enough sour cream to make a dough that can be rolled easily. Chill dough for
at least 1 hour before rolling out. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface. Cut it in large
circles (4” – 5” in diameter), place about 1 T of filling in center, fold over and pinch edges
together. Brush pastries with beaten egg, prick the top crust with a fork and bake at
350° F on a lightly greased baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Makes
Начинка из Рубленого Мяса
Nachinka iz Rublenogo Myasa
Meat filling for Pirozhky
Adapted from The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 90
2 med onions, minced 4 hard-boiled eggs, minced
2 T bacon fat 1 c beef broth
3 lbs ground venison salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion in bacon fat until soft but not brown. Fry venison with onions; mix in eggs.
Add enough broth to moisten slightly and season to taste.
Mushroom filling for Pirozhky
A La Russe, Darra Goldstein, p 71
8 T butter 6 T fresh parsley, minced
2 med onions, minced 1 t salt
1 lb mushrooms, minced black pepper to taste
2 hard-boiled eggs, minced 2 T snipped fresh dill or 2 t dried dill
¼ c raw rice, cooked
Sauté the onions in the butter until soft but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook
for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing
well. Let cool slightly before using. Makes enough filling for about 48 pirozhky.
A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 316
2 ¼ c flour ¼ t salt
2 eggs butter to fry
2 ¾ c milk
Mix all ingerdients until smooth. Allow to stand for about 2 hours. Strain batter. Fry in
butter until lightly browned on one side using about 2-3 T batter for each crepe. Makes
The Russian Cookbook, Barbara Norman, p 107
1 ½ c tvorog 2 T honey or sugar
1 ½ T butter 1-2 T cream or sour cream
1 egg, beaten
Cream cheese and butter together. Add sweetener and egg. Mix well. Thin if required
with cream or sour cream. Consistency should be like soft icing. Makes about 24
Put about 1 T of cheese filling on the browned side of a crepe. Fold opposite edges of
the crepe over the filling, then fold remaining ends over, making a square packet. Fry in
butter about 90 seconds per side, folded side first.
A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 325
2 1/3 c all-purpose flour 4 T water, approx
For noodles, mix flour, eggs, and enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll to 1/8” thick,
but into 2” circles. Place ½ -1 tsp of filling or ½ cherry on each circle. Fold in half into a
half-moon shape, then bring the corners together to form a hat-shaped dumpling.
Freeze if desired. To cook, bring salted water to a boil and cook about 15 minutes,
stirring gently to keep from sticking. Serve with sour cream. Makes approximately 100
Adapted from A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 327
1 lb fat ground venison (70% lean) 1 t salt
½ c minced onion ½ t pepper
Blend all ingredients well.
1 ½ c Tvorog 1 egg, beaten
1 T chives
Mix cheese, chives, and ¼ of the beaten egg.
Вареники с вишнями
Vareniki s vishnjami
A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, p 328
50 large cherries 4 T sugar
If using fresh cherries, pit and sprinkle with sugar. Allow to stand 3-4 hours. Drain well,
reserving juice. If using frozen cherries, cut cherries in half, coat with sugar as needed.
Cook in reserved juice diluted with water.
Копченая Утка, Испеченная
Kopchenaja Utka, Ispechennaja
Baked Smoked Duck
Inspired by Domostroi
1 whole smoked duck, split ½ t pepper
1 clove garlic, minced 1 t dill
Sprinkle spices on duck. Bake at 350° F until done (about 40 minutes). Serves 4.
Gallo, Agostino Le Vinti giornate dell'agricoltvra et de'piaceri della villa
Originally translated June - September 2005 by Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad
Vinc. Come fate ancora il vostro capo di latte?
Scal. Primamente pniamo la panna al fuoco in un caldarino ben netto, la quale
moviamo di continu con un bastone bianco, fin ch’ella si gonfia, & levat all’hora dal
fuoco, vi mettiamo due oncie di zucchero per libra di quella; non mancando a moverla
col medesimo bastone, fin che vi si possa tener dentro il dito picciolo; facendola poi
passare per lo sedaccio, òpezza di lino rara. Et fatto questo mettiamo dentro il caggio
distermperato con l’acqua fresca, ò piu tosto con l’acqua rosa; e tutto ad un tempo
poniamo ogni cosa ne i tazzoni, òpiatti, acioche si raffreddisca, e pigli corpo. Et a questo
modo facciamo il capo di latte molto delicato; il quale nonpur voi altri nobili mangiate cosi
volentieri coi cannoni freschi fatti di farina, & di zucchero, ma èanco assai migliore di
quello che si fa in Venetia & in Padova.
Vinc. And how do you make your head of milk.
Scal. First we put the cream to the fire in a well cleaned casserole, the which
(cream) we move continually with a clean (white) stick, until it starts to enlarge (the point
just before a simmer when the volume of cream appears to increase), then we take it at
that time from the fire and put to it two ounces of sugar for each pound (the Italian libra
or pound is 12 oz) of it, not forgetting to move it with the same stick, until you can hold
into it your little finger. Then pass it through a hair strainer or piece of linen rag. And
when this is done put inside it the rennet (coagulant) dissolved/mixed with fresh water or
better still with rose water, and all at one time put everything in little cups or plates, in
order that it cools and takes body. And in this way we make our head of milk very
delicate, the which you other nobles eat willingly with the fresh rolled wafers made of
flour and sugar, but it is also better than that made in Venice and Padova.
4 c milk ¼ t rose water
1/3 c honey ½ t rennet
Heat milk to 160° F. Add honey and rose water. Cool to 112° F. Add rennet and mix
very well (about 2 minutes). Pour into serving cups, if desired. Chill for 3 hours to set.
Makes 8 4 oz servings.