The very first time I realized that kotlety could be a rather delicious dish was when I tried kotlety made by my husband’s Auntie Zhenia. Interestingly, her kotlety were as good cold on a sandwich next day as they were freshly prepared and hot. So for many, many years I am using only her recipe whenever I am in a mood for kotlety.
Auntie Zhenia’s kotlety’s recipe is extremely simple. You can make them using only ground beef as it was in her original recipe or mix ground beef with ground pork or chicken (50:50). Finely mince raw onions and sauté them on a medium heat in vegetable oil until golden in color mixing frequently. I like to use a lot of onions – 1 very large onion for every 2 lb of ground meat. During sautéing onions reduce in volume quite a bit so do not worry if amount of onions looks huge at first.
Cool sautéed onions and mix with ground meat. Add soaked in water and wrung dry stale white bread (to taste, but sufficient amount – no less that 2-3 slices per pound of meat), salt, pepper and mix it very well until it looks uniform. To find out if there is enough salt, you can briefly lick a small piece of your mix. If you are not comfortable with licking raw meat, just fry a small piece of it and then taste for salt.
Next, with your wet hands form oblong patties and roll them in breadcrumbs. Flatten them slightly and fry over medium heat in a fair amount of vegetable oil until ready turning over half way through.
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, or cold on a sandwich with mayonnaise.
Some times for convenience I use prepared bread crumbs instead of tinkering with bread, the same ones that I use for breading my kotlety. Although, not authentic it tastes just as good.
For sautéing onions as well as kotlety, I prefer using corn oil. He has a neutral taste that does not feel ready to cutlets.
Step-by-step photos are located in Russian version of this recipe: