masa traditionala de craciun

The Traditional Christmas Meal: 5 Romanian Recipes

24-11-2022Emilian Theodor

Christmas is slowly approaching, and people, regardless of where they are, begin to thoroughly prepare. One of the most beautiful traditions on Christmas day is the family meal, when everyone, children, parents and grandparents, who return from church, sit around the table, loaded with goodies.

Regardless of where you spend Christmas, the table must be set up like at mother's house. The preparations specific to this holiday, such as pork, sausages, 'caltaboși', 'toba', bacon, 'sarmalele', 'cozonac', fruits, Romanian sweets and wine are essential and must be carefully prepared.

The recipes of traditional Romanian dishes differ from one area to another because each area of our country has consecrated itself through a specific preparation. This is what we will talk about today, and at the end you will find out which are the best traditional Romanian food recipes to prepare for Christmas.

What is eaten at Christmas in each part of the country?

Each area of our country has specific dishes for the Christmas table, but pork is the common element found everywhere. Moreover, in Romania, pig butchering is a tradition that has been held since ancient times and is passed down from generation to generation.

Also, 'sarmale' and 'cozonac' are other dishes that can be found on the tables of all Romanians, regardless of the area in which they are located.

  • Christmas in Moldova – the traditional Moldovan dish, which is proudly served to the guests at Christmas, are the 'pârjoale', a kind of medium-sized meatballs.
  • Christmas in Banat – in this part of the country boeuf salad is highly appreciated. Here you can also find barbecue dishes, turkey and chicken dishes, and the trunk-shaped cake or the Carpathian cake is emblematic for the people of Banat.
  • Christmas in Maramureș – in addition to the fairy-tale landscapes and such beautiful traditions, the people of Maramures do not lag behind when it comes to culinary preparations. A dish specific to this area is balmoș, a combination of thicker whey with condensed milk and pieces of sheep's curd. Corn flour ('malai') is boiled in this fatty whey, and the result is the traditional balmoș.
  • Christmas in Oltenia – the people of Olten are known for their tasty 'sarmale', lard-preserved steak and 'piftie' (pork aspic).
  • Christmas in Transylvania – this part of our country is famous for fattier food, so at Christmas the table is full of smoked goodies, such as bacon, sausages, ribs and smoked jerky.

What are you cooking this year for Christmas?

Here are some traditional recipes appreciated in all areas of our country. You can find the necessary ingredients at the store with Romanian products or traditional Christmas products.

Homemade Liverwurst - the traditional recipe

Lebăr de casă

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 pork liver
  • 2 lungs
  • 1 full
  • 200g of fatty meat from the pork belly
  • high
  • piper
  • thyme
  • 1-2 pork intestines for sausages

Method of preparation:

Liverwurst is a traditional dish specific to Christmas. This should not be missing from the Christmas table, and we will present you the simplest and most common recipe.

The liver, lungs, spleen and fatty meat are washed very well and left in cold water for 30 minutes, so that all the blood comes out.

Then, they are boiled in cold water with salt and thyme. After they have boiled, the juice is not thrown away, and the meat and entrails are passed through the mincer.

Then, the resulting paste is kneaded with 2-3 spoons of the juice in which the ingredients were boiled.

Sausage funnels are attached to the mincing machine, on which the pig intestine is drawn. Fill the intestine, tie at both ends and refrigerate.

Homemade Liverwurst can be served with horseradish or mustard, depending on your preferences.

Baked stuffed turkey - Christmas recipe

Curcan umplut la cuptor

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 turkey (6-7 kilograms)
  • half a kilogram of minced pork
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 150g diced pork ham
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 stalks of Apio celery
  • half a cup of chopped almonds
  • 4 more
  • half a glass of raisins
  • half a glass of white wine
  • half a glass of sherry
  • oil for frying
  • high
  • piper

Method of preparation:

The stuffed Christmas turkey in the oven is not exactly a traditional Romanian recipe, but in recent years it has been successfully integrated here. This is more suitable on the second or even third day of Christmas. Here's how you can prepare it:

Wash the turkey thoroughly with cold water, both inside and out.

Leave to dry and then season with salt and pepper, then tie the legs.

Place the turkey in a large pot with water and boil for a few minutes. It is left, then again to dry.

To prepare the filling, finely chop all the vegetables and the bacon.

Sauté the garlic and onion in a little oil. After a few minutes, add the chopped bacon and let it take on a little color. Add the minced meat. When the minced meat starts to change color, add the ham, almonds, raisins, apples and Apio celery. Add the sherry and let it cook until all the vegetables and meat are done.

Whoever has a kitchen syringe can inject the turkey with wine from place to place. Otherwise, the turkey can be sprinkled with wine.

The turkey legs are opened and filled with the previously obtained mixture.

When the turkey has been stuffed, its legs are tied again.

Optionally, pineapple slices or potatoes can be added to the cooking tray.

Add the stuffed turkey to a stovetop pan and cover with aluminum foil.

The turkey is cooked for 5 hours at 180-200 degrees Celsius. The cooking calculation is done in the following way - for one kilogram of turkey, one hour of cooking is taken into account. Every hour, baste the turkey with the liquid in the pan. If there is no liquid left in the pan, add water, soup, or wine.

After the turkey is almost cooked, remove the aluminum foil and let it cook until it gets a nice color.

Beef salad

Salată de boeuf

Ingredients needed:

  • 500g of beef broth / bird breast
  • 400g of potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 parsley roots
  • 200g of peas
  • 1 small celery
  • Pickles and sour donuts - to taste
  • 1/2 bunch of green parsley
  • mayonnaise - to taste
  • 100g of olives
  • 1 or drives
  • mustard

Method of preparation:

Beef salad can be prepared at any time, but only at Christmas it has a very special taste.

Boeuf salad is made with beef, but it can be replaced with another type of meat, according to your preference – chicken or turkey.

Boil the peeled potatoes and carrots in a large pot. Meanwhile, cut the boiled beef into strips, finely chop the pickles and olives, the parsley and the boiled egg, and grate the celery on a medium grater.

When they are cooked (without falling apart!) the potatoes and carrots are put in cold water and cut into cubes.

Mix all of the above with the peas in a large, capacious bowl and combine with mayonnaise.

At the end, it is decorated with mayonnaise, egg white, olives and pickled doughnuts.

Homemade gingerbread - the classic recipe

Turtă dulce de casă

Ingredients needed:

  • 500g of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 spoons of honey
  • 200g of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, anise
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Method of preparation:

Here is the classic gingerbread recipe from which all other variations started.

Mix the melted butter with the honey, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat after the composition has been homogenized and leave to cool. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients (everything left except the eggs). Combine the melted butter mixture with the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and add them on top.

Knead the gingerbread dough slowly but firmly, until you get a homogeneous paste. If it still sticks to your hands, it needs more flour. Add flour little by little until you reach the desired consistency - the final dough should be elastic and not sticky. Cover the dough bowl with a clean towel and let it rise for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven and line a tray with baking sheet. Form gingerbread balls from the dough and place them on the tray, keeping 1-2 cm distance between them so that they have room to rise without sticking.

Put them in the oven for 10-15-20 minutes (depending on how big you made the cakes), checking from time to time that they don't burn.

The homemade gingerbread is ready and only good to eat. We wish you bon appetit!

Festive Sponge Cake

Chec festiv

Ingredients needed:

  • 6 eggs
  • 350g of powdered sugar
  • 250g of butter
  • the peel of 2 lemons
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 250g of flour
  • 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
  • 150g of raisins
  • 2-3 tablespoons of natural rum
  • 150g of shit
  • 50g of candied apricots
  • 50g of almonds
  • 150g of roasted peanuts
  • 100g walnut
  • candied cherries

Method of preparation:

Put the butter in a bowl, let it warm to room temperature, then add the sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until it becomes a fine cream.

Add vanilla sugar and lemon peel. The eggs are laid one by one. The raisins are left in the rum and, after they have soaked, they are also put in. The walnut is julienned, and the apricots and shit are diced. All are put into the already prepared dough.

Sift the flour and mix gently to avoid lumps. Pour the mixture into cake pans lined with baking paper. Sprinkle the hazelnuts, almonds and candied cherries.

Put it in the preheated oven and leave it for about 50 minutes, on low heat. After baking, let it cool and then it can be served.

Merry Christmas! 🎅

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