Instant Pot Bukovinian Nachinka – Ukrainian Cornmeal Casserole with Bacon

Bukovinian Nachinka (known as Bukovynska nachynka) is similar to my traditional nachynka recipe for the Instant Pot. This is just as easy and has just a few extra step to add bacon. Bukovina? It’s one of those in-between-places in Eastern Europe.

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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 Nachynka – Cornmeal Casserole

For one of my favourite foods, I grew up thinking that “nachynka” (also nachinka or начинка) was the word for cornmeal.  It actually means stuffing.  Also known as Bukovynska nachynka if it has bacon in it.  But, this is a basic but delicious cornmeal side dish at heart.

Nachynka starts out as a basic polenta recipe to which you add eggs and onions and bake it in the oven.  I made this an embarrassing number of times trying to get this one right for the Instant Pot – and it’s worth it.  Instead of stirring the cornmeal on the stove for 45 minutes, the Instant Pot makes that a quick 9 minutes!

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Saturday Night Noodleburg for the Instant Pot

Cookbooks like Culinary Treasures published by the St. Basil’s Ukrainian Women’s League have been my go-to for figuring out the right proportions for the recipes here.  Originally published in 1967, it must have been popular because my copy is a reprint in 1972.

It’s the collective knowledge of the women at St. Basil’s in Edmonton, Alberta as well as women from across Canada.  Mrs. A. Hlynski of Toronto, your Saturday Night Noodleburg should be a classic – and it’s an easy casserole for an Instant Pot Saturday Night. Inspired by her 1967 recipe, I’ve adapted it for the Instant Pot and sped up the process a little bit, too.

You can’t go wrong with a casserole that’s topped with corn flakes.

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Instant Pot Beet Leaf Holubtsi

Beet leaf cabbage rolls may not make a lot of sense but they’re delicious and completely unlike cabbage holubtsi (holubchi, golubchi, golubtsi, whatever).  Replacing the cabbage with beet leaves is a summer time treat.

Beet leaf holubtsi arranged in a casserole. Red veins in the leaf contrast the bright green leaves.

Like many awesome Ukrainian recipes, this one finishes with being baked in cream.  So, it needs to be finished in a regular oven because that cream totally curdles in the Instant Pot.  A little extra time but totally worth it.

After some research, there are plenty of recipes around called beet leaf holubchi but with bread dough wrapped in beet leaves.  My family always makes beet leaves filled with rice and plenty of dill.  If you’re used to the bread dough version, try this one out!
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