Cookbook:Salată de Boeuf

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This is a traditional Romanian dish, generally served during all festive and special occasions. It consists of a combination of finely chopped beef and root vegetables, folded in mayonnaise and finished with pickled vegetable garnishes. The name suggests a French culinary influence as the word boeuf is old French for cow and several well know French dishes such as Beef Bourguignon still use the term. The dish is usually made up in large quantities for the whole party. It's eaten as a side dish/salad to fried meats or as an appetiser/entree. Slight differences exist in quantities and these vary according to taste. The recipe below is my mother's and grandmother's. It requires a home made mayonnaise, for which a recipe is included.


Serves 6-8

1 kg (2lb 3oz) red potatoes - boiled gently whole in skin until tender. Skin off once cooled.
350 grams (12oz) carrots - skin peeled, cut in half along width and length. Boiled until tender.
350 grams roasting beef - cut in half and gently boil for one hour.
1 can of peas or 300 grams (10.5 oz) fresh peas which must be boiled or steamed well.
350 grams of pickled gherkins - not too sweet and very firm.
3 eggs - 2 hard boiled, yolks used only and one fresh yolk.
250 ml (8.5 oz) oil, canola or vegetable, nothing with flavour like olive oil.
1 lemon - juice of
1tsp (5ml) French mustard
Sliced boiled egg white, sliced gherkins, pickled red peppers and sliced olives. All are generally sliced very thinly into long strips and organised into patterns.


Potatoes, carrots and beef must all be cubed in very small size, approximately 5mm (1/5 inch). Potatoes may be cubed slightly larger. As a guide, everything but the gherkins need to be about the size of the peas. The gherkins need to be sliced very finely and small. Do this by cutting 3mm (1/8 inch) thick slices and then cutting them at 3mm intervals again along the length and width. Fold everything in together gently. Do not season.

Make mayonnaise by beating the cooked egg yolks and the raw yolk until well mixed. Slowly add the oil while beating the eggs until they start to thicken and form a mayonnaise. Add the juice of the lemon and the mustard once you have beaten the eggs and finished the oil.

Reserve a small quantity of mayonnaise for garnish. Fold the rest of the mayonnaises into the cubed meat and vegetables, making a nice consistency where the ingredients are well covered in mayonnaise but not suspended in it. Season with salt. Use pepper only if you prefer. Place the salata de boeuf into one large or several smaller bowls. Spread reserved mayonnaise over the top and garnish with the garnishes.