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Beef and Pork Kotleti/Cutlets – Russian Meatballs

This is a very common Russian dish that has a million variations and tastes. They are commonly served as a side to potatoes, kasha, or pasta and are a staple of Russian home cooking. According to some Russian men woman’s “worthiness” as a wife and home maker can be judged by how well she can prepare cutlets among other dishes (jokingly of course).

*For a variation with fish see here

Ingredients (as prepared):

  • 4lb 50/50 ground Pork and Beef
  • 2 onions (grated)
  • *2 minced zucchinis
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt, black and red pepper to taste
  • 1 cup whole milk

*The zucchinis are used for a “healthier” variation. Commonly you use about 0.5 lb of soft white bread soaked in milk and processed. This ingredient is supposed help with moisture retention in the kotleti and makes them fluffy.


Combine the meat, grated onions, zucchinis (bread), and the milk in a large bowl




Mix everything together by hand until a uniform consistency. The mix has to have a little bounce to it.


Wet your hands and grab enough of the mix to form an approximately 1.5” ball. It is important to form a smooth uniformly shaped ball such that they do not fall apart when cooked. The trick is to throw the ball into your other hand hard enough to compress the meat.


Heat some oil in a pan, flatten the kotleti a little and form into an oval shape, place as many of them into the pan as you can. It will take about 5 minutes per side to cook these. If you are afraid of burning them, you can put them in an iron pot and bake them in an oven until fully cooked.






  1. Andrew Ross says:

    My late Mother-in-law was born in the Ukraine, of Georgian parents, and married a Pole! She worked in a sausage factory in Leicester, and I learned by watching her how to make Kotleti.
    It’s one of my winter staples, now, and I sometimes vary the recipe with chopped liver, all pork mince, and lots of crushed garlic.
    I make a flour-thickened sauce in the pan used for frying the Kotleti, using assorted herbs and spices, and have never been disappointed with the results!

  2. […] you’re looking beef/pork kotleti, you can find the recipe here. I decided to do fish separately since the recipe and preparation are a little different than with […]

  3. Vitaliy says:

    I think you used Cabbage in this recipe as seen in the third picture? Looks delicious 🙂

  4. […] well known other places. It is very simple is basically a combination of the Draniki recipe and the Kotleti recipe. All that you really have to know is how to make the stuffed […]

  5. vera bentley says:

    but they had no covering of breadcrumbs?

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