Olivier Salad (Russian Meat Salad)

Olivier Salad (Russian Meat Salad)

In the rest of the world this salad is probably the most well-known as “Russian salad”, but in Russia it carries a different name.

Oxana Putan
Servings: 4-5
1 lb beef
2 large pickles
2 large potatoes
1 large carrot
2-3 hard-boiled eggs
3-4 tablespoons canned green peas
3 tablespoons mayonnaise

It’s named after a French chef that used to work in Moscow before the revolution of 1917.

This salad is very simple to make, and all the ingredients can be prepared in advance.

Place the beef in a pot, cover with cold water, add salt.

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Bring to a boil and cook for another 30 minutes.  

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Then take the meat out of the broth and let cool.

Note: if the time allows, let the meat cool in the broth. This way it will have softer texture and a more intense flavor.

Place the potatoes and the carrot into another pot, add salt and cook till done. The doneness can be easily checked with a knife: if it pierces the vegetables easily, they are ready. Keep in mind that potatoes cook faster than carrots, so if you’re cooking both in the same pot, take the potatoes out earlier and continue cooking the carrot.

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Let the vegetables cool and peel them.

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Note: it’s best to add salt during the cooking of both vegetables and meat – then the salad won’t need additional salt.

Dice the potatoes, carrot, pickles and meat into small cubes and place into a deep bowl.

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Add the peas.

Chop the boiled eggs into small cubes or grate coarsely, then add to the salad.

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Add the mayonnaise and stir well to combine – and voilà!

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In the 70s and 80s sometimes there used to be a shortage of beef, and Russian cooks had to substitute it with ham or bologna. To this day some people think that the real Olivier salad should have bologna and not beef. We won’t argue over this – so many men, so many tastes. But one thing for sure – this salad is an absolute staple for the New Year’s Eve feast in Russia – just like a turkey is a Thanksgiving dinner must the US.

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