(I also posted this recipe in The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter.)

My mom raised us on katletky (cot-let-key) and now my children are getting their share.  Just a simple little meat patty – Russian peasant food, really.  But oh so flavorful, nourishing and versatile.  I strive to always have the freezer stocked with them.

Here are a few ways we enjoy them:

  • topped with sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions
  • topped (already cooked) with tomato sauce and cheese, baked at 350 til bubbly
  • straight out of the fridge with some mustard on sprouted toast for breakfast or lunch
  • in school lunches (with ketchup for dipping)
  • packed as snacks for kids (kept cold)

I buy grassfed ground chuck (80-85% lean) if it is available – and I don’t worry about the fat.  Nourishing fats and protein are good for kids (and those chasing them).  And fat lowers the acidifying effect of meat a notch since it is neutral on the alkaline-acid scale.

This family recipe calls for a slice of bread which helps the patties stay together.  Usually I use whole grain, but not sprouted or gluten-free because it tends not to hold as well.  This time I had some French bread leftover from a party and it worked very well.  Next time I will try substituting oats for the bread to see if gluten-free oats could be an option (will update the recipe then).

Remember, meat is a side dish!

1/2 small onion chopped into a few big chunks
one slice bread
one egg
1/4 tsp. salt & a few grinds pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground chuck

1) Place all ingredients except oil and meat in blender.  Blend until smooth (add a small amount of water if needed to puree ingredients).

2) Place the meat in a large bowl and pour the onion puree on top.  Work it through the meat with your hands.

3) Heat oil in a pan (preferrably a cast iron skillet) over medium heat.  You only need oil for the first round.

4) Take about an egg-sized portion of meat and work it into a patty about the size of an average cookie.  I like mine thin.  Pan fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. I usually fit about three at a time in the pan.  Have a book handy to keep you occupied in between flips.

Note 1: if you get a lot of burning and splattering, reduce the heat.  This will probably be necessary as your pan will just get hotter throughout the cooking process.

Note 2: This recipe works well with chicken or turkey, though you may need to bake them in the oven after pan-frying to get them cooked through.