Top Slavic Stews – To Warm Your Heart And Soul During Autumn

When BBQ season is over, but stew season is brewing…

Photo: Pixabay

Fall is here and for Slavs this doesn’t mean drinking pumpkin spiced latte or making sweet potato tacos. On the contrary, it means an abundance of soulful, hearty and delicious real food. As such, it should come to no surprise that we, Slavs, have a plethora of authentic recipes for fall stews, which babushkas have been passing down to their daughters for centuries – literally. Here are just some of these awesome dishes.

Yahni/ Yahniya – the most diverse Bulgarian stew

🇬🇷 GREEK WEEK! “Yahni” is a kind of vegetable stew made in Greece, Persia, Turkey and many other countries in the region. In fact, its popularity spread during the reign of the ottoman empire, from Syria all the way up to the Balkans, so there are a huge number of people around the world who enjoy this dish every week! Does your family have their own version? Check out my recipe, a Greek potato version “patates yahni” made with a wild weed called purslane, on (link in bio) #vegan #veganfood #potato #yahni #greekfood #glutenfree #turkishfood #purslane #patatesyahni #yakhni #yahniya #γιαχνί #mkr #mykitchenrules PC: @thebrandcanteen

321 Likes, 19 Comments – Bella Jakubiak (@bellasfeast) on Instagram: “🇬🇷 GREEK WEEK! “Yahni” is a kind of vegetable stew made in Greece, Persia, Turkey and many other…”

The popular yahniya dates back to the times of Ottoman Bulgaria. What’s curious about this dish is that there’s no ultimate way to prepare it, so it’s completely fail-proof even for beginners. Yahniya can be made vegetarian with potatoes, vegetables and veggie stock/ crushed tomatoes, as well as from different types of meat – poultry, lamb, pork and so on. The base for a traditional yahniya remains the same, though – it’s a thick, almost saucy mixture of red bell peppers and onion, often accompanied by tomato paste or crushed tomatoes.

Bograč – a Slovenian beef stew

What makes this beef stew to-die-for is the not so secretive fact that it actually comes together with 3 types of meat – the classic beef, the widespread pork and the not so common for pantries venison meat. Bograč also includes potatoes and sautéed onions. Without these two ingredients it wouldn’t be Bograč at all. And if you really want to take this stew to the next level, opt out of using sunflower or other types of oil and go for pig lard instead.

Bigos – the varied Polish hunter’s stew

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41 Likes, 1 Comments – @mrs_lifestylle on Instagram: “Jesiennych smaków cd..🍁Dziś na obiad wskakuje bigosik 😄 Wyszedł pyszny ale najsmaczniejszy będzie…”

What makes bigos so ah-mazing is the fact that you can use any kind of game meat in it. Whether you’re cooking with pork, beef, lamb, poultry, veal or other game, you can’t go wrong with this Polish stew. There’s always one must-have ingredient, though, and that’s cabbage, otherwise it wouldn’t be a complete bigos without it. Traditionally, both fresh cabbage and sauerkraut are used in the preparation. Throughout the years the Poles have developed a variety of ways to enhance the flavors of the main ingredients using wine, mustard, onions, mushrooms, paprika, raisins and other delicious ingredients that give it the wow factor.

Rassolnik – the Russian hangover stew

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17 Likes, 3 Comments – 西米 (@simiwoo) on Instagram: “红菜汤~#irkutsk #russia #rassolnik #soup”

Although many Russians use solyanka as their go-to cure for hangover, the rassolnik is a pretty good alternative. It’s easy, tasty and can either be a limpid soup or you can make it as thick as a stew. While vegetarians might prefer the veggie version with lentils and pearl barley, the traditional dish is made with pork or beef kidneys. Both versions are suitable for the fall and you don’t need to be hungover as an excuse to try it.

Borscht – the ultimate stew of the Russian Empire

Russians are famous for a plethora of hearty recipes, but what truly stands out from the rest is the popular borscht dating back to the days of the Russian Empire. It should be on the list of recipes every proper housewife should learn. The preparation and cooking time of the traditional borscht may seem dreadful for unexperienced cooks, but it comes in numerous variations – white (with rye), green (with sorrel), purple (with purple cabbage) or just the traditional deep red borscht with beetroots.

Shparahivka – an easy Ukrainian stew with green beans

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20 Likes, 0 Comments – Something About Food + More. (@misroxan) on Instagram: “#waxbeans (#organic #food from #mygarden) #stringbeans #yellowbeans with #whitebreadcrumbs #crumbs…”

Traditionally, you can make shparahivka ahead of time and store it in your pantry as a winter reserve. However, you can also prepare it as a stew and enjoy it fresh in the fall. Green beans, snap peas or string beans (all of these are the same thing, regardless of however you want to call them) are the base of this stew. Shparahivka calls for diversity of techniques and ingredients, but as long as you remain faithful to the stewed green beans, you can get as creative with it as you want.

Bob chorba – the Bulgarian dry bean stew

The traditional bob chorba can be made with ingredients most people already have in their pantries – dry beans, dried or fresh red peppers, carrots, onion and tomatoes. Thus, it’s often dubbed as the poor man’s meal or the monk’s dish. What truly gives the recipe its authenticity are the savory and the spearmint (dzhodzhen) herbs without which the dish wouldn’t taste like a real bob chorba. According to Bulgarian customs, the water in which the dry beans must be boiled needs to be drained and changed several times. In some variations of the recipe you can add sausages, kielbasa or other types of meat, but the original one is full on vegetarian.

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