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Romanian Beef Salad (Salata De Boeuf)

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf) is considered to be a traditional recipe that is made for Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.

Root vegetables, cooked beef, chicken mixed with pickled vegetables, and mayo are the main ingredients.

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf) - featured picture

I would not be truly Romanian if I would not share with you this salad recipe. The Romanian beef salad or “Salada de boeuf” is considered a traditional recipe for Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.

No matter where Romanians live around the world, this salad will be on the table for these celebrations.

There is no right or wrong way to make this salad. Every family has its own recipe and all of them are delicious.

What goes into this Romanian beef salad:

  • Meat- Beef, chicken, or turkey are wildly accepted
  • Potatoes– I use Russet potatoes or Yukon
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Celeriac
  • Peas– I like using frozen peas and cook them a little bit, but canned peas would also work. Just make sure you drain them very well before you add them to the salad.
  • Pickles– like pickled cucumber and red peppers in vinegar
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Other ingredients you can use:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Olives
  • Ham instead of cooked beef, chicken, or turkey

What other countries add to this salad:

The salad is also widely popular in the Balkans/Eastern Europe. Sometimes salami or ham is added to the recipe, like in Bulgaria, for example.

In Spain, this salad is trendy and often served as tapas. It is called Ensaladilla Rusa and has tuna, boiled eggs, and roasted peppers. (See my version of the recipe here

By the way, I am not an artist, so please be kind with my Christmas tree on top of the salad (see picture below). It is not the perfect one, but it was edible, so we were happy with it! 🙂

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf)

“Boeuf” means beef in French; for that reason, the salad is called beef salad. However, I also noticed that many Romanians use chicken meat instead, which is wildly accepted.

When I was growing up, though, the times were difficult, and the meat was scarce, so I do not remember my mother ever adding meat to this salad, but I remember having this salad with beef on other occasions outside of the house.

If you need a vegetarian salad, you can definitely leave the meat out and use only vegetables.

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf)

As you can see we have here a star that deserves your attention. It is versatile, easy to make, and so delicious.

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf)

The secret to a successful Romanian beef salad is to cut the ingredients really small. They are supposed to be diced.

My daughter loves this salad for the holidays, and she is happy to help to chop the ingredients, but she still has this memory from her younger years, when my bossy attitude came out, and I asked her to chop the vegetables again because they were too big.

I know I am not perfect. As I get older, I understand that it doesn’t really matter how the vegetables look like in the salad.

When you smother them in mayo, you cannot tell. However, my daughter still works really hard to dice them properly and now, that she is an adult and we love to have fun together in the kitchen, she scolds me if the carrots are not the right size!!! 🙂

If I have to compare this salad to an American salad, this recipe would be the closest to the classic potato salad. 

I used pickled cucumbers from the jars I canned in the fall, cucumbers that I usually buy at the Farmers Market. 

pickles- jars of cucumbers, red peppers, carrots, cauliflower, hot peppers in vinegar

I also used red peppers that I pickled this summer, but I was not able to write the recipe down yet.

jar of red peppers cauliflower and carrots pickled in vinegar

Oh, the pile of recipes I want to share with you seems to grow every day, to my desperation! However,  looking at the positive side, sharing recipes with you can keep us all entertained for a long time! 🙂

These beautiful pickled vegetables are an awesome way to preserve goodies from the Farmers Market.

Sweet peppers, cauliflower, carrots, horseradish are all sitting happily in a vinegar juice combined with spices and herbs, waiting for the day when they can see the light of the day in this beautiful beef salad.

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf)

Soooo, if you love this recipe, and most importantly, make it yourselves, please let me know. Take a picture and tag it with #thebossykitchenggk on Instagram so we can all see it. I always love to see what you come up with!

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. This is the easiest way to stay connected with my work. You can also join The Bossy Kitchen community group to share their creations made from this blog or their favorite recipes!

See you next time!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Romanian Beef Salad(Salata De Boeuf)

Romanian Beef SaladSalata De Boeuf1 1

Romanian Beef Salad (Salada de boeuf) is considered a traditional recipe for Christmas, New Year's, and Easter. The salad is also widely popular in the Balkans/Eastern Europe. Root vegetables, cooked beef, or chicken mixed with pickled vegetables and mayo are the main ingredients.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef (chicken or turkey are also accepted)  
  • 1 pound potatoes peeled
  • 1/2 pound carrots peeled
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 cup pickled cucumbers chopped
  • 1 cup pickled red peppers chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional for decorating the salad:

  • olives, pickled vegetables, boiled eggs, parsley leaves etc.

Instructions

  1. Place the meat in a pot of salted water and cook until tender for about an hour. Remove the meat from the water and set it aside to cool.
  2. In the same pot where you boiled the meat, place whole potatoes and whole carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer them until a fork goes through them for about 25 minutes or so.
  3. Cook the peas in salted water for about 5 minutes or until soft but not mushy.
  4. Dice the meat, potatoes, and carrots. You should have small pieces.
  5. In a big bowl, place meat, potatoes, carrots, and peas.
  6. Drain the pickled vegetables very well, dice, and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Add mayo and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and mix everything.
  8. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  9. Traditionally, the top of the salad is smoothed out with a spatula, then a thin layer of mayo is spread to cover the surface, then decorated.
  10. Refrigerate, then serve. The leftovers are good for 3-4 days.
  11. Serve the salad cold.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g

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Corina

Thursday 15th of July 2021

Romanian here just dropped by to leave a note. Romanian cuisine was developed in the communist times similarly to the Italian Cucina Povera, cooking cheap ingredients but making it tasty. In my family (and in my region Transilvania, this salad is always made with chicken and the ingredients are leftovers from making chicken soup. Chicken soup is supposed to be clear and served with noodles or semolina dumplings (galuste) so you won't be missing the other ingredients when you eat it.

Chicken soup is traditionally served around the holidays and we use the chicken cuts with lots of bones to give the soup flavor ( they are also cheaper) so spines, necks, wings, the breast bone. We use about 2kg of "meat" to a 10 liter pot. This way the soup has enough chicken flavor. Obviously these chicken cuts don't have a lot of meat on them but due to the large quantity used you end up with about 500 grams of cooked meat when picked of the bones after cooking. So make the soup, and make sure the root veggies are cooked through but not mushy ( they are all cooked whole or cut in large pieces). When the soup is done, drain the liquid, let the meat and veggies cool enough to not burn your fingers ( or overnight) and then enjoy the chopping. Potatoes don't belong in chicken soup so they are boiled separately, whole with the skin on to avoid water absorption.

Pickled cucumbers are a must in this recipe, traditionally they are salt brined (vinegar pickles are somewhat new around here) but use what you got. Dice them the same size as the veggies and don't forget to squeeze and drain the liquid out (be gentle so you don't end up with mush). You can skip this last step but if the pickles are too wet they will make the mayo too runny so do it at your own risk.

Pofta buna

Joseph

Thursday 1st of July 2021

I LOVE my " Taste of Lithuania " by Beata Nicholson <. try an get one the book is Beautiful , I think you will love it too Not your normal cook book ,wonderful photography stories about the recipes and what Holidays serve which ones ,just one great cookbook , thanks again for sharing your recipes , I need to get busy on more of yours , love to grow em cook em and eat em. " Good Apatite " Joseph.

The Bossy Kitchen

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Thank you, Joseph, for visiting. I hope you find here recipes to inspire you.

Joseph

Thursday 1st of July 2021

It has been a while since I wrote to you ,,,so today picking cucumbers , and canning carrots and waiting on some peppers I love called Garden Salsa ,skinny long med heat ,really good in scrambled eggs ,but will pickle a jar using your recipe of course ,So hot and HUMID now ,caught a 4 pound catfish yesterday , picking corn now also itnrigued again by your recipes and being Half Lithuanian. I looked at Romanian recipes and your potato salad recipe caught my attention , my question is ,What cut of beef do you use ?? Boiled hmmmm. a Chuck was my first guess or a top sirloin ?? and as My associate of yers ago ,,James Beard ,, would say "Good Appetite "

Joseph

Thursday 1st of July 2021

@The Bossy Kitchen, and may yours be Blessed

The Bossy Kitchen

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Hi,

You want to use a type of beef cut that is good for a stew. Chuck or shanks are the best. I would not use top sirloin. Keep it for grilling. Also, nice to hear that your garden is growing and you stay busy. I hope your summer is great!

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