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Pozharsky cutlets: from XIX to XXI century

In mid june Torzhe, in the homeland of the fire patties, passed first city gastronomic festival. We could not get past this event and sent our man — Olga Zakharova, columnist for Gastronom magazine and site editor, take part in a glorious endeavor and at the same time try the famous cutlets right on the spot of their appearance

Pozharsky cutlets. Juicy, crunchy, always served out from under the knife and do not tolerate reheating. Dish comprehensive and not allowing negligent attitude.

Rarity and historical value, but at the same time — a very topical dish that is prepared with pleasure both at home and in restaurants.

In my opinion, it is only around some fire burgers in glorious Torzhok that one can now develop an entire entertainment industry and return the city to its former glory. The right steps in this direction are already being taken and it is wonderful! For example, just recently, the Pozharsky’s house, which had been burned down, was rebuilt.

Now there are final work on the interior decoration.

Soon a hotel will be opened in the house, like in the old days, a museum will be created and the morocco shop will start working again. The summer theater may be revived in the park adjacent to the hotel.

In the meantime, all this is only in the work, I offer a small tour online.

By remark Pavel Syutkin, historian of Russian cuisine: «The history of fire burgers, although it has a number of ambiguities, is generally well studied.

And it is connected with the name of the innkeeper Evdokim Pozharsky, who lived at the beginning of the XIX century in the town of Torzhok. Chopped veal cutlets, cooked in his institution, rightfully gained popularity among many travelers from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Her daughter Daria, who inherited a tavern after the death of her father, became famous for the “refinement” of this dish.

Obviously, under the influence of the French tradition of cutlets, she begins to make them from chopped chicken.

And Emperor Nicholas I, who stopped on the occasion at the hotel, highly appreciated this dish, which laid it all-Russian, and indeed European fame.«.

Since 1826, many historical figures, passing through Torzhok, mention the Pozharsky hotel and the same-name cutlets.

At that time, they were one of the most famous tavern dishes on the road between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Undoubtedly, the most important popularizer of cutlets was Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin:

«Dine at leisure

at Pozharsky in Torzhok,

try the fried meatballs

and go light«.


A. Lopatina, author of the book “The History of Fireman Cutlets” writes: “Although the recipes of these cutlets have already been published in the editions of the modern Tver Pushkininian, none of the authors indicated the sources from which these recipes were taken, therefore they cannot be considered historically reliable.«.

At the same time, one of the earliest recipes is this one — the recipe from the «Almanac of Deli» for 1853 Ignatius Radetsky, professional chef.

Fire chickens burgers naturally

Remove from the hens the right amount of fillets, peel, chop finely, put the butter in half of the fillets, stir, supply to taste with salt, a little pepper, and make moderate cutlets, breaded in grated bread, then in egg and bread, and fold melt the butter in a saucepan, and fry on both sides before going to color, and put in the dish, pour the juice.

To recipe after reading there are too many questions to follow it strictly.

For example, what to do with the second half of the fillets and how to interpret the term «grated bread».

The closest to this version of cutlets will still be a modified version of the fire cutlets from Olga Syutkina.

It is interesting that in the same almanac a recipe for fish firefighter cutlets with champignons, a recipe for consommé soup with firefighters cutlets was published. Despite such a variety, the basic rules for cooking the famous Novotorzhsky dish are well traced anyway:

1. Cutlets have always been chopped.

2. Chopped meat is always salted and pepper-pepper, and butter is also added to it — not by a piece, like in Kiev cutlets, but mixed with meat.

But the bread, soaked in water or cream, was not added to this dish.

Such a supplement appeared only later — in 1899 in the “Practical Foundations of Culinary Art” by P.P.


3. The cutlets were of “moderate size,” as they say, under the palm of Darya Pozharskaya herself.

4. For breading used white (wheat) bread, grated on the sieve. But we are now accustomed to see fire burgers, rolled in small bread cubes. Where does this come from?

Again, thanks to Aleksandrov-Ignatieva.

She was the one who suggested a recipe where slices of finely chopped white bread were breading.

Apparently one of the Soviet cooks stumbled upon such a recipe, who introduced the fashion for new fire burgers to the canteens of the USSR.

Guided by these rules, you can modify the existing recipes yourself, come up with your own, or simply choose the one you like the most below.

All of them, with the exception of the first, were provided by restaurants in the city of Torzhok: cafe «Lira», a restaurant at the hotel «Staroyamskaya» and the restaurant «Onyx».

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