Beef patties (kotlety) is a very basic, everyday type of food that a Russian family typically eats for dinner during the week. The beer sauce is my own invention, but it’s really excellent with the patties. Just remember to use a beer that’s less on the hoppy side and more on the malty side – non-bitter dark beers work well. I usually use a Czekh Beer brand called Baron. It’s sold in most BC liquor stores and is really good to drink on its own too 🙂 For those worried about the alcohol in beer – alcohol is a very volatile substance and is completely evaporated when the sauce is boiled!
Vegetables can be mixed in with the ground beef and their taste is usually not discernible after the patties are are cooked. I’m using a carrot in this recipe, but it can be replaced with another vegetable such as zucchini. Just make sure that your vegetable of choice does not produce a lot of juice. If using zucchini, for example, grate the zucchini prior to adding it to the beef, sprinkle with salt, and let stand until juices are produced. Then squeeze the juices out and add the zucchini to the ground beef. I would not replace the onion in this recipe though, because it gives the patties a nice savoury taste. It’s also nice to add some fresh herbs such as dill or parsley to the beef. If using herbs, add them directly to the food processor.
Ingredients:2 lbs (~1 kg) ground beef 1 large onion 1 carrot 1/2 cup bread crumbs, or 2 slices of white bread 1.5 tablespoons salt vegetable oil, for frying 1 bottle of dark beer (300-500 mL) 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce 1 teaspoon prepared mustard 3 cloves of garlic, peeled 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cut the onion and the carrot into several pieces. Add the onion, the carrot, 1.5 tablespoons of salt and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs into the food processor and blend until the mixture is uniform.
If using bread slices instead of bread crumbs: cut the crust off. Place the bread into a small bowl and add enough water or milk to soak the bread. Squeeze out the water from the bread. Use this bread in the food processor in place of the bread crumbs.
In a large bowl, combine the beef and the mixture from the food processor. Mix the mixture by hand until the ingredients are combined well.
Take a handful of the ground beef mixture, roll into a ball in the palms of your hands, then flatten the ball to make a patty.
Generously coat a frying pan with vegetable oil. Add beef patties and fry in batches until the patties are browned on each side. Remove patties to a plate.
Meanwhile, add the beer into another saucepan and bring to boil. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the mustard. Whisk to combine well. Add the garlic cloves. Boil for 3 minutes.
Mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Add to the sauce and stir well.
Add beef patties to the sauce and heat through. Spoon the sauce over the patties when serving.