Aspic (rus – Holodets) is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Non savory dishes, often made with commercial gelatin mixes without stock or consommé, are usually called gelatin salads.

When cooled, stock that is made from meat congeals because of the natural gelatin found in the meat. The stock can be clarified with egg whites, and then filled and flavored just before the aspic sets. Almost any type of food can be set into aspics. Most common are meat pieces, fruits, or vegetables. Aspics are usually served on cold plates so that the gel will not melt before being eaten. A meat jelly that includes cream is called a chaud-froid.

Nearly any type of meat can be used to make the gelatin: pork, beef, veal, chicken, turkey, or fish. Gelatin is also found in cartilage. The aspic may need additional gelatin in order to set properly. Veal stock provides a great deal of gelatin; in making stock, veal is often included with other meat for that reason. Fish consommés usually have too little natural gelatin, so the fish stock may be double-cooked or supplemented. Since fish gelatin melts at a lower temperature than gelatins of other meats, fish aspic is more delicate and melts more readily in the mouth.

Vegetables and fish stocks need gelatin to create a mold.


Holodets can be also called Studen, there is no difference between these two dishes.

  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound), or 1 pound boneless veal.
  • 2 pounds calf or pork feet
  • 1 pound beef round
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 2 ounces celery root
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional salt to taste
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced Horseradish or Mustard


  • Rinse the calf or pork feet, put in a 4-quart pot, and add 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 4 hours.
  • The stock should have reduced by half, and gristle should fall away from the bones.
  • Add the beef, onion, carrot, parsley and celery root, and teaspoon salt to the pot, bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
  • Add the chicken breasts, peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves, and continue to simmer until the beef and chicken are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove all the fat from the top of the aspic.
  • Melt the aspic over low heat.
  • Remove the calf’s feet, beef, and chicken, add the garlic and salt to taste to the broth.
  • Skin and bone the chicken.
  • Remove the meat from the calf’s feet, discarding the bone and the gristle.
  • Cut all the meat into 1-inch pieces and place in a 2- to 21/2-quart serving dish or in individual 1- to 1 1/2 cup dishes.
  • Strain the broth over the meat, discarding the vegetables and spices.
  • Top with slices of hard-boiled egg and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  • Cut the meat into as many slices as you will need and serve from the dish, accompanied by horseradish.

Chicken or Veal in Aspic “Holodets” is a perfect appetizer for the holiday and the best snack with vodka.