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Hi! I love your web site, which I found when googling Russian recipes. Our parish makes kotleti, remarkably like Bitkis, for our annual Russian festival. The ice is to keep the interior moist. When you fry them up, the meat cooks, but you don't want it all cooking to the same degree. The outside is firm but not hard, and the inside is moist, with the meat cooking, yes, but not to the same texture as the outside of the patty. Hope this helps! Ann L.

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BITKIS (Meat Balls), Russian

Now we know what the ice is for! But you can still send me an email if you have other ideas!

The little bits of ice and butter are to add moisture to the meatballs. As they cook, the ice and butter melt, insuring that the meatballs won't get tough or dry. Janna

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 or 3 slices of white bread
  • 2 level tsp. salt
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Milk, enough to moisten bread
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • Small pieces of ice
  • 1 whole egg
  • Bread crumbs
Preparation Instructions

Flake the bread, removing the crust. Add just enough , milk to moisten the bread. Mix with ground beef, adding all the other ingredients and knead with hands until thoroughly mixed. Form patties 1 ½ inch thick. Just before frying, make hole in top of each patty and insert small piece of ice and a little piece of butter. Recover the hole and roll in egg and bread crumbs and place in heated frying pan. Fry over medium heat until meat is done and serve at once. Serves 6. Serve with mushroom sauce.

Goes with: mushroom sauce - .
Contributed by Mrs. Helene Daiber, 1950

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