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Russian beef blini recipe

Russian beef blini recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef

Not the canape-sized blini, these larger pancakes are filled with a simple but hearty beef and onion mixture. You can also pan-fry the rolled blini at the end in a bit of oil for even more flavour.

18 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • For the blini
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 50g butter, melted
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the filling
  • 350g boiled beef
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 30g butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. For the blini, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Add melted butter; whisk well. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. For the filling, very finely chop the boiled beef until it is an even texture. Alternatively run through a meat grinder. Set aside.
  3. Cook the onion in the butter for 10 minutes over medium low heat till golden. Add beef, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat 10 minutes.
  4. Heat non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan on medium heat. (It's important that frying pan is well heated, so blini don't stick.) Pour in 1 teaspoon oil. When oil is hot, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of blini batter per pancake (depending on pan size), and quickly rotate the pan to spread the batter into a thin layer. When edges are brown, flip to other side and fry 1 to 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove blini from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of filling on one side. Fold over the edges, then roll up. Repeat with remaining batter and filling.


Rolled pancakes can be pan fried for crispy texture.


Flipping thin blini is a skill! Some people flip with their fingers by grabbing the edge of pancake. There is a Russian saying "The first blini is always ruined", since it usually takes some adjustment in temperature and amount of batter poured to get it just right.

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Top 10 Authentic Russian Recipes

Russian cuisine is a collection of more different cooking traditions of the Russian people. Considering the size of this country, there are so many various traditions regarding the cuisine. Besides this, the climate is different throughout the state to find various goods in the other areas.

The most common ingredients used in Russian recipes are potatoes, eggs, meat, and butter. They lack fresh fruits and vegetables because of the cold weather, so they rarely use fresh fruits and vegetables. However, they use frozen or fresh veggies in the season for some soups like borscht, which is also one of the most famous Russian recipes.

Russian Pelmeni

If you didn’t know, these pelmeni are one of the most authentic Russian meals. The dough of the pelmeni is so soft, and we recommend serving them with chicken broth. Or boil and butter them up, then dip in sour cream, vinegar, or ketchup.

Schi (Beefy Russian Cabbage Soup)

Russian cuisine is known for the most different soups. This one is the most popular. Traditionally, schi is a peasant soup. It’s made of whatever is leftover in the cold, harsh, eastern European winters.


Borscht is a Russian soup made primarily with beetroots and other veggies as cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and dill leaves. This is the most vegetable soup you’ve ever tried. It contains so many various vegetables. Tastes amazing. Borscht is served with sour cream and optionally with Russian bread.

Buckwheat Kasha with Caramelized Mushrooms and Fresh Dill

Buckwheats have a strong, nutty flavor and are packed full of nutrients. So, this buckwheat kasha is very healthy. Serve it hot with sour cream.

Leg of Venison in Moscovite Sauce with Pumpkin Varenyky

This recipe is so special. The taste is indescribable. Maybe you’ll need more time to prepare this dish, but it’s worth it, believe us. The butternut squash filling makes this meal delicious and memorable.

Caviar Blini

Blini are actually a type of thin pancakes. They may be served with butter, sour cream, jam, or caviar. The combination with the caviar is typically Russian.

Classic Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a dish consisting of lean beef sauteed strips and served in a sour-cream sauce with onions and mushrooms. Perfect Russian dinner meal.

Russian Piroshki

Piroshki are small stuffed buns made of either dough or short pastry. They can be stuffed with various fillings like meat, rice, egg, onion, cabbage, potato, mushroom, or sweet fillings as jam or fresh fruits.

Golubtsy (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

To make these amazing golubtsy, choose larger cabbage leaves so that they could wrap the stuffing. Young cabbage is preferred. Inside they are filled with ground beef, which can be substituted with rice and onions and boiled eggs, rice with onions and mushrooms, mushrooms with parsley root and celery.

Pozharsky Cutlets

Eating these cutlets is a journey from crunchy to a soft, delicious, and tasty meal. Serve the cutlets with roasted potatoes, pickled beans, or other vegetables of your choice.

If you&rsquore like me, you often find yourself turning to the trusty potato for a quick and easy side to your weeknight dinner.

But I do like to try to find something different now and then.

At first glance, this dish looks like a slice of vanilla cake with maybe an apple filling and a simple vanilla glaze.

This is actually a wonderful mashed potato and caramelized onion layered side.

The combination of sour cream and dill with the mashed potatoes is already pretty special, but the layer of caramelized onions in the middle is out of this world.

A History of Russian Pancakes

As I said above, Russian pancakes along with the classic Borsch are pearls of Russian cuisine. So much so, that we even have a holiday dedicated just to pancakes called Maslenitsa!

It comes from an old Slavic tradition to worship the beginning of spring with pancakes, symbolizing the Sun. It was even adopted by the Orthodox church. Maslenitsa lasts for a week. You are supposed to make and eat tons of pancakes during that time.

Wherever I am in the world, I celebrate this week. It would feel outright wrong if I didn&rsquot!

Russian Buckwheat Blini Pancakes

Traditional Russian blini (BLEE-nee) are made with yeast-raised buckwheat and/or wheat flour batter that gives them a nutty and distinctive flavor. Eaten on all occasions, and especially during holiday celebrations, blini make a perfect appetizer or cocktail food, as their smaller size can make for easy-to-handle bites that can be topped with anything you'd like, from savory to sweet. Our traditional recipe for blini makes for deliciously fluffy mini pancakes, great with all sorts of toppings, and also perfect for a pretty brunch dish.

Although the traditional recipe suggests blini with salmon roe, caviar, and sour cream, the sky is the limit when it comes to these versatile little rounds. Fresh fruit, ricotta, whipped cream, or chopped hard-boiled eggs are just a few of the things you can put on top. Think of blini as a blank canvas for all the mixtures you can come up with—tradition aside, they're a great base for any meat, cheese, or spread. Served warm or at room temperature, once they're topped they should be enjoyed right away.

In the Russian tradition, blini symbolize the sun and take center stage at Maslenitsa—also known as Butter Week, Pancake Week, or Cheesefare Week—a spring festival marking the end of winter. For some, it also marks the last week to eat dairy before the fasting of Lent begins, thus the common addition of sour cream on top. Nowadays, blini are prepared in hundreds of different ways, with many types of flours, and their accompaniments have gone beyond the traditional caviar. The batter is made with common pantry staples, so the only different thing you need is the flavorful buckwheat flour, easily found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

Blinchiki/Blini (Russian Crepes)

Blinchiki are thin, crepe-like pancakes from Russia. They are referred to as Blini in some regions, though blini were originally formed using yeast or another leavening agent. Often Blinchiki are stuffed, but I served these folded with sour cream and strawberry jam. I had never tried crepes with sour cream and jam, but now I am hooked! Sour cherry or raspberry jam would also be good.

Add just enough flour to the mixture to make a runny batter. If the batter is too thick, you won’t be able to move it around the pan. The trick to thin crepes is a thoroughly heated pan and pouring the batter quickly. As soon as the batter touches the pan, swirl it around in a circle to coat the bottom. Watch the temperature and adjust to medium or medium low as needed.

Russian Blinchiki Recipe

Ingredients (for 12 to 15 crepes):

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil plus more for pan
  • Sour cream (or sweetened condensed milk) and jam for serving


  • Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Then gradually add the flour and mix until you have a runny batter. Add the oil, whisk, and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Grease a 10 inch pan and heat over low to medium heat. Once thoroughly hot, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup blinchiki batter to the center. Immediately tilt the pan in a circle to coat its bottom in a thin layer.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbles form and the bottom turns golden. Flip and cook the other side 30 seconds to 1 minute, until golden.
  • Remove the blinchiki and transfer to plate. Rub the pan with more oil and repeat these steps for the remaining batter.
  • Serve hit with sour cream and jam or also sweetened condensed milk. Enjoy!

Russian beef blini recipe - Recipes

The wind is blowing in Médoc. It’s one of those unusually cold December months when you wake up to frosted trees and even the dogs don’t fancy going out. The weather (and the ice-cold stone floors) make me feel raw and in need for big shawls, hot cups of tea and gentle music. I find it romantic to sit by the window, watching the bare trees and glazed blue-grey grass. The wintery view opens my appetite to a whole new level. Not only do I want comfort, but color, joy and warmth.

I am fascinated by Russian cuisine, especially during winter. It symbolizes a culture I admire, filled with rich colors and different tastes I appreciate so much. I have always loved a borscht soup, and have fond memories of going to a very unusual restaurant in Hong Kong called ‘Queen’s café’. It was the very old one that closed down decades ago (there are new ones now but the atmosphere is modern and completely different). It was small and dark, the waiters were old Shanghainese men, dressed in white jackets and matching gloves. They were extremely grumpy. Queen’s café served Russian food, like borscht soup, potato salads, marinated chicken wings, nougats and delicious biscuits you could buy at the deli. There was an element of old-school Shanghai, influenced with Russian culture. I loved it. It was like a movie, so authentic and original. It’s one of those unforgettable moments linked with food. Ever since then, borscht soup has a special place in my food memoirs. Years later, during all my pregnancies, borscht was the food I craved most. Some of my favourite Russian places in Paris are ‘La maison du caviar’ (21 Rue Quentin-Bauchart 75008 Paris), Pétrossian (18 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg Paris 75007, and the Rachmaninoff conservatory in Paris where they have a very authentic Russian canteen-style restaurant in the basement (complete with a karaoke too!). The one I make at home is also very satisfying. The colour, the sweetness, the acidity that I crave, it’s all there.

Last week, inspired by the chilly air and the Slavic look of the landscape, I wanted to create a small Russian inspired feast, with home-made blinis, salmon, crème fraîche, dill, lots of borscht soup and a succulent beef Stroganoff. I usually make a lot of borscht so I am sure I can keep some for the next day. As for desserts, I served the Sarah Bernardt cakes (see previous post). They are all about Christmas, and it feels like a pleasurable duty to have one after each meal this month!

On another note, we made a few changes to Manger today, making it a bit more accessible and incorporating the new logo and icons, illustrated by the wonderfully talented Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co. Merci Anna! The logo was inspired by a beautiful ceiling wreath from a nearby château in ruins we discovered this fall (see ‘From quail to quince’). Many thanks to Mr. Ingvi Guðmundsson for helping me with all the technical stuff and putting up the new site. Takk Takk. I am so grateful for working with such talented people!

Borscht soup

Serves 6-8
450 g/1 pound beetroot, peeled and diced (save half a beetroot to grate)
50 g/ 3 tbsp butter
1 small onion (diced)
1 shallot (diced)
1 small leek (diced)
2 small carrots (diced)
1 stick of celery (diced)
1.5 l beef or vegetable stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
½ small cabbage, shredded
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp allspice
1 bay leaf
2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
Salt & pepper, for seasoning
Crème fraîche or sour cream, to serve (1 tbsp each)
Large handful of fresh dill, to serve

Prepare all the vegetables. Dice the potatoes, beets (keep one beet for later/grating), carrots, celery and finely chop the onion, shallot and leek. Coarsely shred the cabbage. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat and fry the onions and shallot for 6-8 minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables, bay leaf, garlic and spices. Continue frying for 5 minutes so they are coated with butter. Add stock, mix gently and bring to a soft boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then add cabbage. Grate remaining beet in soup. Add a bit of water if needed. Simmer for a further 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve with crème fraîche/sour cream and dill.

Blinis: (makes about 50-60 small blinis)

80 g/ 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
160 g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp clarified butter
2 eggs (separated)
1 tsp baking powder
350 ml/ 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
80 g/ 1/3 cup unsalted butter (clarified)
1 tsp salt

For the clarified butter:
Heat unsalted butter on a low heat in a saucepan until melted. Let it simmer until it starts to foam. Skim off the foam and white parts and keep the clear ‘clarified’ butter.

Sift the buckwheat flour, plain flour and baking powder together. Whisk milk, 2 tbsp clarified butter and egg yolks together in another bowl. Mix dry ingredients with egg/ milk mixture, mix gently. Whisk egg white till stiff peaks, and gently fold in to batter.
In a large pan, heat a tbsp clarified butter and fry approx 1 tbsp of batter for each blini. When the blini starts to bubble (under one 1 minute each side), flip over. Serve with crème fraîche/ sour cream, smoked salmon/trout and fresh dill.

Beef Stroganoff

500g-700g/ 1-1&1/2 pound beef filet steak
300 g/ 2/3 pounds button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, ground
30 ml/ 1/8 cup cognac
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp plain flour (for dusting the beef)
Olive oil
80ml/1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (you can add less if you prefer)
A large handful of parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper, for seasoning

Slice the beef into thin slices, across the grain, approx. 1cm/0.5inches wide. Dust beef with plain flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil, fry the onion and garlic on a low heat for 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue frying until they turn slightly golden. Set aside.
Scrape off any bits in the pan, add 1 more tbsp of oil, and start frying the beef on a medium heat until all sides are brown. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms, paprika and mustard. Stir, pour the cognac and let it reduce for 2 minutes. Simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes (you can add a bit of water if you find the beef too dry). Take off the heat, stir in the crème fraîche or sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with tagliatelle or rice.

Medovik (Honey Cake)

I was obsessed with this cake when I was living in Russia. It's a unique slice of heaven, with a distinctive toasted "graham cracker" taste that I couldn't get enough of. I've tried a couple of recipes but one by Smitten Kitchen absolutely is the most authentic I've attempted. The recipe isn't too difficult, just time consuming, but the blog post walks you through every single step with plenty of pictures to help convince you that you're on the right track.

I'd add a couple of notes to all of Deb's: make sure you use a big pot when you're melting together the honey, sugar, and butter. When you add the baking soda, it really froths up.

Don't forget to dock each of your cake rounds (they puff up if you don't). I tried to dock the whole thing really well so no air bubbles could form.

Blitz the extra cake pieces to really uniform crumbs to get a professional look.

Other than that, follow this recipe step by step for an out-of-this-world Medovik. Oh, and as with any Russian dessert, serve with tea.

Want to really taste these authentic recipes?

Come volunteer in Russia! You'll be living and teaching English in Russia which means you'll have plenty of time to taste these dishes as they are meant to be tasted. You might even live with your very own host family who can give you cooking lessons so you know you'll be making these dishes like a pro.

Russian Blini/Blinchik (Stuffed Pancakes)

Some of you might already know this about me, but I am the lucky wife of a Russian man. Lucky, not only because Russian men have amazing manners and are extremely handsome, romantic, caring and smart, but also because Russian food is absolutely delicious!
Only, in our case, my husband is not much of a cook himself (however, he’s the sweetest because he never let’s me do the dishes, and trust me, I create a lot of dirty dishes)

Luckily, I’ve been blessed by gaining a new gorgeous sister in my life. Not only is Leila (my husband’s sister) extremely talented and turns literally everything she touches into magic, but in the kitchen she creates amazing treats and is always very happy to teach me <3

That’s why last time we visited Israel we decided to make a day of it. We got together, went shopping, cooked the entire day in Leila’s kitchen in Jerusalem and had a lovely dinner together with our loved ones. It was a beautiful (and delicious) day. It’s such a great experience bonding with someone while cooking, you find a certain harmony and connect over the aroma’s and flavors and deep conversations.

What’s on the menu

We made the delicious Russian blini you are going to read about today, which are crepes (thin pancakes) filled with meat. But we also made some fresh no knead-bread with fresh basil and dried tomatoes, oven baked Camembert with pecans and honey, and a perfect biscuit, chocolate and dulce de leche cake! (both will soon join the blog). It was really a feast that won’t be forgotten.

But I must say, that out of all the dishes, the Blini was the absolute star. This classic Russian dish is a thin crepe wrapped and filled with minced meat and fried onions, and then gently fried in a pan to get a crispy crust around it. This is then topped with some sour cream. The crispy crepe and the minced meat together with the creamy sour cream just makes a heavenly bite, you have to try this.

We also made a vegetarian version with vegetarian minced meat, and later on for our Chrismukkah party, I made another vegetarian version from 3 types of mushrooms and roasted chestnuts, cooked slowly in red wine and fresh herbs. All versions were amazing, but today I am going to share the original with you.

How to make Leila’s Blini

Start with frying up the onions and garlic until golden

Add the spices and fry for one minute longer until they are fragrant. Then add the minced meat.

Keep cooking with the meat, moving it around the pan until fully cooked

When done, remove from heat and let it cool at room temperature

Make the Crepes

In A bowl add the flour, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together egg and sour cream

To the wet bowl, add 1 teaspoon baking soda by pouring a little bit of boiling water on top of it, just enough to make that soda bubble on the teaspoon and clean it up from baking soda. Mix well together.

Add the wet to the dry and whisk to combine

Add water and keep whisking until there are no lumps

The batter is ready when it is the consistency between milk and heavy cream

Then to make the crepes, just heat up a medium non stick pan and pour some oil in a small bowl. Peel one onion and cut it in half.

Using a fork, dip the onion in the oil and run it around the bottom of the pan to oil it up very lightly

Then, pour about half a ladle in the pan and tilt to turning it around, you want the batter to reach the entire pan until it’s covered in one thin layer. Let it cook for just a couple minutes, until bubbles form on the top. Then use a spatula to turn it to the other side. Remember that the first one is never perfect! Continue to a second one. If it breaks while flipping, you can add another egg to the batter to stabilize it more. After it’s flipped, give it 5-10 seconds to cook from the other side

Move to a separate plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Keep stacking them up until they are all done. The next step will be to fill and roll!

Roll these beauties up and create some crisp

Once you’re done with the crepe’s, it’s time to stuff them up with the meat you made before. Make sure you have your meat next to you, the crepes and something to put the rolled Blinis in.

Here’s a step by step GIF to show you how to roll:

After they are all rolled up, add them seal side down to a plate. At this stage, you can either store them until ready to eat, or go ahead and finish the last step

Make sure you don’t fry them too long in advance and that there is just a little bit of oil, you want them served warm and crisp!

Place them, seal side down in the pan with a bit of oil on medium-high heat.

Then after a few minutes, when the bottom has a nice golden brown look and a nice crisp crust, turn them over

Fry for a few more minutes and remove to a plate with a paper towel to allow the excess oil to be absorbed