Instant Pot Sviachene – Ukrainian Easter Menu

Ukrainian food at Easter is just a polar opposite of the Sviatia vecheria – Christmas Eve menu.  Christmas Eve is about meatless and largely dairy-free dishes.  Easter is the opposite:  a lot of pork plus dairy.

They’re Christian holidays but have roots in pagan traditions.  Easter is a celebration of spring and family.

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Instant Pot Studenetz – Head cheese – Jellied Pork Meat

If you’re a vegetarian – look away and head over here now. Studenetz is a Ukrainian version of head cheese – with garlic. Studenetz is a staple all year round but mostly pops up at Easter.

A traditional recipe takes way over four hours to cook on the stovetop plus assembling time – but less than half that time in the Instant Pot. It’s not “instant” but end-to-end I made this recipe in 4 hours total (then refrigerated everything overnight). This recipe uses the same ingredients as my baba’s recipe.

You either love studenetz or don’t touch it.

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Instant Pot bread dough for pyrizhky – baked pyrohy

Pyrizhky were one of my grandfather’s favourites.  He loved the portability of these tiny buns with cheese, potato, onion and dill filling. And, he’d advise me to keep a few in my pockets to have a snack at hand later.  Sound advice.

This recipe will take you from the dough through filling then shaping and baking.  These are delicious – even better with a creamy dill sauce poured over top. Pyrizhky freeze well. The Instant Pot makes the dough rising more reliable but admittedly not faster.

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Instant Pot farm cheese and potato filling for varenyky or pyzirhky

Springing forward, it’s time to start making more spring and Easter foods.  Here’s a great filling for varenyky or pyrizhky.  Pyrizhky? It’s a bread-based dumpling-bun.

This recipe uses the easy dry curd cottage cheese I made.  The filling is full of spring green onions and fresh dill.

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