Mom’s Braised Potatoes – “Тушеная Картошка”

I am convinced that most Slavic people grew up on these potatoes. My husband shares my memory and whenever it’s mentioned in Russian/Belarussian/Ukrainian company, everyone knows exactly what we’re talking about. I can even picture my mom standing next to the kitchen stove stirring a big black pot full of tushenaya kartoshka – braised potatoes. This is the Slavic macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, or whatever else American kids grew up eating. Basically, it’s potatoes with meat, onions and carrots. It’s all cooked together in one pot, (Yay for less dishes to wash) and has a homey, comforting taste. The tender, juicy meat and perfectly cooked chunks of potatoes are coated in a satiny sauce that the carrots, onions and starch from the potatoes form. Yummy! You may not find this on our party menus, but trust me, when you need a quick meal that is comforting and delicious, we roll up our sleeves and get these four simple ingredients in the pot.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 3/4 – 1 inch cubes

1-2 onions, chopped

1-2 carrots, peeled and shredded

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

butter, oil, for sauteeing

salt, pepper, dry bay leaf

1 1/2 cups water

Fresh herbs, parsley, chives, etc.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a medium pot and cook the meat on high heat until brown on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. IMG_9951To get beautifully brown meat, make sure the meat is dry, you may even want to blot it dry with some paper towels. If the meat is wet, it won’t crisp and will steam. Cook the meat in batches, so that there is room around each piece of meat. If you dump it all in, it will cook, but will turn out gray and will also steam. Cook on high (or medium high at least) and don’t touch the meat until it releases by itself. This will create beautiful crispy-brown exterior and be very flavorful. All that fond on the bottom of the pot is very flavorful too, which means that the end results will be so much richer in flavor.

Set the meat aside, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in the same pot, (without washing it) and add onions, cooking on medium heat until tender. Add carrots, cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. IMG_9958Meanwhile, cut the potatoes. Add the meat to the carrots and onions, mix it all together, add a dry bay leaf. You can also add some tomato paste, garlic, and other spices at this point, such as cumin, coriander, thyme, etc. IMG_9965Add the potatoes, leaving the potatoes on top and not mixing them. This will cook the meat, carrots and onions without turning the potatoes into mush. They will gently be steaming on top. Pour in the water, so its barely covering the potatoes. IMG_9971Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes, just until potatoes are cooked through. Stir gently and garnish with fresh herbs.

Mom's Braised Potatoes With Pork

Mom’s Braised Potatoes With Pork

By the way, heat up leftovers in a nonstick skillet, with a bit of butter and add some shredded cheese. Wow, this really brought me back to my childhood.

Mom's Braised Potatoes - "Тушеная Картошка"
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into ¾ - 1 inch cubes
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • butter, oil, for sauteing
  • salt, pepper, dry bay leaf
  • 1½ cups water
  • Fresh herbs, parsley, chives, etc.
Instructions
  1. Heat about 1 Tablespoon of oil in a medium pot and cook the meat on high heat until brown on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper, make sure the meat is dry.
  2. Cook the meat in batches, so that there is room around each piece of meat. If you dump it all in, it will cook, but will turn out gray and will also steam.
  3. Cook on high (or medium high at least) and don't touch the meat until it releases by itself.
  4. Set the meat aside, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in the same pot, (without washing it) and add onions, cooking on medium heat until tender.
  5. Add carrots, cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes.
  7. Add the meat to the carrots and onions, mix it all together, add a dry bay leaf. You can also add some tomato paste, garlic, and other spices at this point, such as cumin, coriander, thyme, etc.
  8. Add the potatoes, leaving the potatoes on top and not mixing them.
  9. Pour in the water, so its barely covering the potatoes.
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes, just until potatoes are cooked through.
  11. Stir gently and garnish with fresh herbs.

 
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Comments

  1. Natalie says

    Woohoo! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I now know what I am making for dinner tonight ;) Your recipes are so wonderful!

  2. Valerie says

    Hi Olga! Can you help me with what i can pair for easter dinner ? Im making chiken shishka bobs, mashed potatoes, coleslaw you salmon cake. I need 2 more dishes!
    Thank you :)

    • says

      How about Beef Stroganoff, Stuffed Mini Peppers, Honey-Garlic Glazed Meatballs, Herb-Marinated Tomatoes or Pasta Salad? They are all perfect for parties.

  3. Natalie says

    Does adding tomato paste change the flavor of this dish? If I add it, how much would I add? I am planning on making this tomorrow. Didn’t get a chance to make it last week. Thanks!

    • says

      Yes, it would change the flavor but not too much. It will add a bright, sweet note to the dish. You can add about a Tablespoon of tomato paste. I usually keep this dish very simple and go without.

  4. Natalie says

    Is all of the water supposed to boil out of the potatoes? I cooked mine for 30 minutes and while the potatoes are cooked through, there is still a good bit of water left in the pot… Thanks!

  5. Dina says

    Hi Olga,
    I just found out about your blog through my sister, and would like to thank you for such an amazing blog. We make these potatoes in the oven and they are delicious. You should give it a try.

  6. Yana says

    We always called this “grandpa soup” because it was the one thing my grandpa knew how to make, though he did it without veggies and would leave some broth (hence soup). Comfort food indeed.

    • says

      Hi Lena,
      You can use dark chicken meat (from the drums of thighs) or use beef chuck, but you’ll have to braise the beef for about an hour before adding the potatoes.

  7. Irina says

    Olga, I’m truly loving your website. I was born in the Ukraine, and been in Sacramento for 24 years. Even though my family cooks Russian style food but not frequently. Anyway I love to cook and I’m finding your website a God send cannot wait to begin cooking the recipes I’ve found that seem so simple. For the potatoes with tushunka I usually use the pork however, my roommate doesn’t eat it. Can I substitute some other meat?

    • says

      Hi Irina! Thanks for stopping by:). I am so thankful that you enjoy the recipes.
      You can use chicken thighs or even beef, like beef chuck, although if you use beef, you will have to cook it for about an hour until the beef is tender, before adding the potatoes.

      • Irina says

        Cool ok. Thanks. Oh and one more question do u have a recipe for pickled tomatoes and cucumbers? I found one recipe at sisterhood. The simmering pots but I feel like it’s not going to be the same outcome to the ones I buy at the store.

  8. olga says

    I dont know much avout potatoes.. would it make a difference if i used russet instead of gold potatoes? want to try this tomo!
    Thanks!!

    • says

      I prefer making this dish with gold potatoes, Olga. Russet potatoes have much more starch in them than gold potatoes, which means that they will break apart and lose their shape when they are braised or stewed, while the gold potatoes will keep their shape.

    • says

      You probably could, Ilona, although I personally wouldn’t. To get the best flavor, you would still have to brown the meat and veggies in a skillet and then it would only take just a bit of time for the potatoes to cook, so for me, it would make more sense to just finish it on the stove, where it would be much faster. Also, you would need to significantly reduce the amount of liquid that you would need to put in the crock pot, since there is no evaporation and it would be too watery, unless you want it to be like a stew in consistency. I can see where you can use the crockpot for convenience sake, though. It would be an awesome idea to do the prep work the day before or in the morning and use the crockpot to cook it. If that’s the case, then definitely go for it!

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