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Cuisine of the 19th century nobility


At some point, the fame of the unusual dinner parties at Prince Gorchakov’s private residence resounded across all of Petersburg. The nearly forgotten traditions of the Russian table and formal parties, prepared according to twentieth-century recipes - coming up next on RTG TV.

We have to admit that the culture of visiting and receiving guests is somewhat lost nowadays. Not to mention the formal parties of the nineteenth century! «Those were the days», as they say... The restaurant «U Gorchakova», in the very heart of St. Petersburg, is one of a few places where the tradition of the Russian formal dinner party hasn’t been forgotten. This building was once the home of the celebrated Prince Andrey Mikhailovich Gorchakov. The scion of an old princely line, known first and foremost as a brilliant diplomat and the last Imperial Chancellor, he also earned fame as a restaurateur. Gallant commanders, ladies of refinement, music, poetry - none of this would have created the dazzling atmosphere of a formal dinner party were it not for the latest culinary masterpieces served by Gorchakov. It is worthy of noting that preference in the prince’s house was given to dishes prepared according to old Russian traditions. But, as an well-traveled man, Gorchakov brought numerous European, particularly French, recipes to Russia. Today we’re going to try to reproduce the culinary palette of the formal dinner, where okroskha with smoked venison gave place to duck in cognac, which in turn was followed by baked apples with raspberries in a crisp crust.

Resipe «Okroshka with smoked venison»

Resipe «Duck breast flambe in cognac with candied apples»

Resipe «Apples stuffed with raspberries in a crisp crust»

Okroshka with smoked venison serves 2 persons; cooking time ~ 20 minutes Ingredients: boiled chicken breast, 100g, smoked venison, 100g; brisket pork, 100g, 2 boiled potatoes, 2 eggs, 1 medium-sized cucumber, 3-4 radishes, 1 green onion, parsley, dill. Seasoning: kvass, 1 tsp mustard, cream Directions: Preparing the base: Dice the chicken, venison, pork, and eggs. Add the shredded vegetables and crushed greens. Mix the ‘salad’ well. Preparing the seasoning: Pour 200-300 ml kvass into a dish. Add a little mustard. Mix well. Place the base into a deep dish. Pour in the kvass and mustard. Sprinkle the chopped greens on top. Spread the cream with a spoon. Duck breast flambe in cognac with candied apples serves 2 persons; preparation time ~ 20 minutes; cooking time ~ 30 minutes Ingredients: duck breast with skin, 100-150g cognac, salt, ground mixed pepper, vegetable or olive oil. Berry sauce: lingonberries, 100 ml red wine, 20-50g sugar. To stuff the apples: 1 green apple, prunes, walnuts, white honey. Directions: Marinating the meat: Make X-shaped cuts in the duck breast, cutting not only the skin but the meat as well. Salt, and season with ground pepper. Place in a deep dish, pour in the cognac and set aside for 20 minutes to marinate. Stuffing the apples: Take the whole apple, cut in half horizontally. Carefully remove the core. Chop the prunes into small pieces. Mince the walnuts (not too finely). Mix the walnuts and the prunes and stuff the mixture into the apple. Pour the white honey on top. Flambe: Heat a frying pan, pour in a little vegetable or olive oil. Place the duck breast in the pan and pour the remaining marinade over it. Sear for 2-3 minutes. Carefully add a little cognac to the pan. Set it alight. NOTE! The mixture of cognac and oil can result in a strong flare-up. Wait while the cognac burns and the flame will extinguish by itself. If the flame is too strong, cover the pan. Final stage. Place the flambeed duck breast and the stuffed apple on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 180 C for 15 minutes. Preparing the berry sauce. Pour the red wine over fresh lingonberries and set over a low flame. Boil for 5 minutes. Add granulated sugar to taste, and stir until completely dissolved. Pour off the water through a sieve. Push the berries boiled in wine through a sieve. Pour the sauce obtained into a dish. Place a leaf of lettuce on a serving dish. Cut the duck breast into slices and arrange them in a fan-like pattern above it. Place the baked stuffed apple on the lettuce. Garnish with the lingonberry sauce and serve. Apples stuffed with raspberries in a crisp crust serves 2 persons; preparation time ~ 15 minutes; cooking time ~ 10 minutes Ingredients: two green apples, 100g fresh raspberries, 100 ml white wine, 30g sugar, unleavened pastry dough, 1 raw egg. For the sauce: 30-50g raspberries, 70 ml red wine, 30g sugar. Directions: Core the apples. Pour the white wine into a roasting pan. Lay the apples into the pan with the cored side down. Place over heat and let stew for 5-7 minutes. Remove the apples from the roasting pan and let cool. Crush the raspberries and the sugar and stuff the apples with the puree. Roll the pastry dough out thin. Wrap each apple in the dough, and pinch the top closed so there are no gaps. Brush the surface with the beaten egg. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180 C. Preparing the sauce: Place the crushed raspberries in the roasting pan, add red wine and sugar. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Place the finished apples on a plate. Garnish with sauce and serve.