Mom’s Braised Potatoes – “Тушеная Картошка”

Braised Potatoes were my Mom’s signature dish when my siblings and I were growing up. The tender potatoes with juicy pork or chicken has carrots and onions to give it a rich and hearty flavor, made with simple ingredients that are most likely kitchen staples, all cooked in one pan. It can be served as a meat and potato main course or as a rich stew.

How To Cook Braised Potatoes With Meat and Vegetables

I am convinced that most Slavic people grew up on these potatoes, aka “Тушеная Картошка”. 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 these braised potatoes.

This is the Slavic equivalent of 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. It can be served as a main course or meat and potatoes or as a stew.

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 staple ingredients in the pot.

What Are “Braised” Potatoes?

It’s a very basic method of slowly cooking cubes of potatoes along with meat and vegetables, with a moderate amount of liquid, until everything is tender. The liquid can be discarded or served along with the rest of the meal as a stew.

What Potatoes Are Best For Braising?

My favorite potatoes to use are the gold/yellow potatoes. They have a medium amount of starch, which means that the potatoes don’t fall apart as much as baking/russet potatoes but are tender and cook consistency. However, any type of potatoes can be used for this recipe. You can peel the potatoes, or keep the potato skin on.

What Type of Meat Is Best For Braising?

It is best to use meat that isn’t too lean, since the potatoes and meat cook on lower heat for a longer period of time and leaner cuts of meat, like chicken breast or pork loin or tenderloin, will overcook by the time the potatoes cook through and will be dry and tough.

I like using pork shoulder, aka Boston butt, or pork country style ribs or dark poultry meat, like boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. They will be tender and won’t get dry as the potatoes and meat simmer.

If you do use chicken breast, pork loin or pork tenderloin, sauce the meat until cooked through, set aside and add to the potatoes at the very end of cooking, right before cooking, so the meat stays tender and doesn’t overcook.

How To Prepare Braised Potatoes With Meat and Vegetables?

Tutorial photo of cooking braised potatoes with meat and vegetables.
  1. Heat the oil in a medium or large pot or deep skillet on medium high heat. Add the pork or chicken and cook in batches, until the meat is golden brown on both sides. Set is aside in a separate bowl. (To get a good sear, blot the meat dry before adding it to the skillet, make sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot/skillet and it is heated until really hot. Don’t turn the meat over until you get a good sear and the meat releases naturally when you attempt to turn it over.)
  2. Remove excess oil, and then add the onion, season with salt and ground black pepper, cooking for about 3 minutes, until it softens, scraping the bottom of the pot/skillet to release the fond. (If the skillet gets too brown, pour in a small amount of liquid, until all the bottom of the pot/skillet is clean.)
  3. Add the carrots and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they soften. (You can grate the carrots, cut into circles or matchsticks.) Add the garlic, creating a clear space in the center of the carrots, cooking for just 30 seconds – 1 minutes.
  4. Return the meat back to the vegetables, mixing everything to combines. Season everything with your favorite seasonings, dry herbs and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the peeled and cut potatoes, seasoning with salt and ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Place the potatoes on top of the vegetables and meat, leaving them in one layer on top of everything. Placing the potatoes on top of everything, will allow them to sort of steam as they cook, and it will keep them from falling apart and turning into mush. They will gently be steaming on top.
  6. Pour in enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Add the dry bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes and meat are tender and cooked through.
  7. Stir gently to mix the potatoes with the other ingredients. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve hot.

Reheating Braised Potatoes

Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Heat up leftovers in a nonstick skillet, with a bit of butter and add some shredded cheese.

Cooking the Braised Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Braised Potatoes are a perfect method to be used in the Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, which cuts down on the cooking time.

Recipe for cooking this recipe in the Instant Pot with a video.

Print

Mom’s Braised Potatoes – “Тушеная Картошка”

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

Braised Potatoes were my Mom’s signature dish when my siblings and I were growing up. The tender potatoes with juicy pork or chicken has carrots and onions to give it a rich and hearty flavor, made with simple ingredients that are most likely kitchen staples, all cooked in one pan. It can be served as a meat and potato main course or as a rich stew.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/22 pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 3/41 inch cubes (boneless, skinless chicken thighs can also be used)
  • 12 onions, chopped
  • 12 carrots, peeled and shredded (or cut into circles, or matchsticks)
  • 46 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 – 2 inch inch cubes
  • butter, oil, for sauteing
  • salt, pepper, dry bay leaf
  • 12 Tablespoons dry herbs and spices, to taste (dry chives, granulated onion, garlic, coriander, chili seasoning, paprika, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.) (optional)
  • 22 1/2 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, the meat will steam instead of getting a sear. Cook on high (or medium high at least) and don’t touch the meat until it releases by itself. 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.
  3. In the same skillet or pot, remove excess grease, leaving or adding about 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil. Add the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 3 minutes, until it softens, scraping the bottom of the pot/skillet to release the fond. (If the skillet gets too brown, pour in a small amount of liquid, until all the bottom of the pot/skillet is clean.)
  4. Add the carrots, cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cooking for another 30 seconds. Return the meat to the vegetables and mix everything to combine. Season with salt, ground black pepper and other spices and dry herbs to taste. 
  5. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and season with salt and ground black pepper. Add the potatoes to the pot/skillet, leaving the potatoes on top and not mixing them with the other ingredients.
  6. Pour in the water, so it’s barely covering the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes, just until potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Stir gently, mixing the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Keywords: how to braise potatoes, Braised potatoes, Braised potatoes with pork, Braised potatoes with chicken, Braised potatoes with meat and vegetables, Russian Braised Potatoes Recipe

39 Comments

  • Natalie

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

  • Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com

    I haven’t had this in awhile! This might just be perfect for Easter! Thank you!!

  • Valerie

    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 🙂

    • Olga K.

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

  • Natalie

    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!

    • Olga K.

      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.

  • Natalie

    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!

  • Dina

    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.

  • Yana

    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.

    • olgak7

      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.

  • Irina

    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?

    • olgak7

      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

        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.

  • olga

    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!!

    • olgak7

      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.

    • olgak7

      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!

  • Anna

    I just made this tonight for dinner. My hubby was super impressed and said it was by far the best meal yet! Planning on making it again for our Easter gathering since it turned out so well! I added tomato paste to mine and cooked my meat in broth for 30 min prior to placing potatoes in pot. The pork just melted in my mouth! Thanks for all your recipes 🙂

    • olgak7

      I don’t recommend freezing potatoes. Their structure changes when frozen and they have a different texture when you thaw them. I personally don’t care for it.

  • Jim Powell

    Привет Ольга и спасибо! I recently retired from teaching and I’m keeping my mind busy by perfecting my German and learning Russian and Russian cooking. I really enjoy your site and will be making this dish next week. All the best!

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