Sulz - Studzienina

Gary Dyrkacz (from another Helen Dyrkaz recipe)


Studzienina is another old European dish. Studzienina is polish. Sulz is the German word. The closest thing to it that I know is head cheese sausage, but that usually seems to be more bland than this recipe. This dish is part of our traditional Christmas Eve polish style meal.

First a warning - this recipe is not complete in terms of amounts. I have yet to make it myself. This recipe is transcriped fairly faithfully from my mother's handwritten recipes, and placed on the internet as a place in my pages to always have it readily accessible. I am fortunate that my mother still makes this for me at Christmas time. It does not always look appetizing, but I enjoy it with vinegar and slices of good rye bread.(I am the only one who will eat it!)

The problem is that my mother cooks by sight, feel and texture. She got these recipes from my grandmother, who died when my mother was 15. So although I would love to provide more detail on what "a little bit" means, I am at a loss. My guess is to start with a 1/2 lb = "a little bit" and go from there.

My mother pronounces studzienina as "stujelina". I have no idea whether this is close to how the word sounds in Polish.

2 good sized Pork hocks  
2 pig's feet  
a little bit of veal  
a little bit of beef (probably chuck)  
1 small onion (minced)  
a little celery (optional)  
5 clove garlic (finely chopped)  
1/4 cup vinegar  

Place the hocks, feet, veal, and beef into the pot. My best guess on the stock is 1 to 1 1/2 quarts of water. If you have to err, do so on the low side (see last paragraph). You should need enough water to at least cover the bones and meat. Cook until almost tender. Add the 5 cloves of garlic, the minced onion. Add the celery if desired. Add a 1/4 cup of vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. You may need more vinegar, salt and pepper depending on your tastes. Cook until the meat is very tender.

Strain the broth, and de-bone all the meat. This is the tricky part. There are many small bones and it is easy to miss them and leave them in the broth. So be careful and thorough!. Add everything back together, and place in the refrigerator. It should set up by the next day. Remove the fat at the top, and its ready to eat.

To eat, I just spoon a chunk out, pour a little vinegar over it, and eat with plain slices of rye bread. Hey, come on, this is peasant food! Do not heat to eat, just eat cold or at room temperature.

The tricky part of the recipe is getting the amount of water correct. If too much water is used intially, not enough gelatin will be derived from the bones for the aspic to set up properly. It will be watery or runny.


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  Last updated: 12/23/04