Russian Bitoks with Sauce Smitaine

This Russian dish is made with patties of freshly minced beef and served with a sour sauce.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 mins
Heat: Medium

This recipe will serve 8 people

For the Bitoks

  • 1 kilo of lean minced beef (chuck steak is good, rump would be best)
  • 250g finely chopped English or Spanish onion
  • 50g fresh thyme pounded or chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil for brushing

For the Sauce

  • 50 ml Olive Oil for frying
  • 100g very finely chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped (optional)
  • 100g closed mushrooms finely chopped
  • 150ml dry white wine (Italian is the best)
  • 150ml Crème Fraiche
  • 50ml vegetable or chicken stock


Heat the BarbeSkew grill to medium heat.
To make the Bitoks

Combine beef, onion, thyme, egg yolks and seasoning in a bowl and divide into 8 portions moulding them each into a flat teardrop shape. Chill in a refrigerator for 1-2 hour.

Lightly oil the BarbeSkew chrome cage then place the bitoks within the cage and cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and succulent. Repeat with the remaining bitoks, keep the cooked bitoks warm by wrapping in foil. You can make the sauce in advance or whilst the bitoks are cooking.
To Make the Sauce

Fry shallots (and garlic if using) in a little oil until transparent, add the mushrooms and cook slowly, adding the stock and white wine and reduce the liquid by half. When ready to serve stir in a little of the Crème Fraiche. Pour the sauce Smitaine over the Russian Bitoks and add a dollop of Crème Fraiche on the side.

Russian Bitoks with Smitaine Sauce can be served with rice as a main course dish.