Tag Archives: World Cup Dinners

RUSSIA- Borscht

At last the big kick off has arrived for Russia 2018!

One match in and we have already seen the sublime (Russia’s storming 5-0 display) and the ridiculous (Robbie Williams peacocking around in the super short opening ceremony).

I’m really looking forward to the tournament- with some real stars on show. Will it be a last hurrah for Messi or Ronaldo, or will we see the next generation led by Neymar, Dele Alli or Mbappe step up to the plate?

One thing is for sure, the prospect of some top-level international football for the next month is certainly mouth watering.

For my first World Cup Dinner of 2018, where better to start than the host nation of Russia.

Last time out I made some Zakuski Plates, a sort of Russian tapas-come-smorgasborg, which were really tasty, bu this time I thought I would go for something more homely in the shape of the traditional Russian beetroot based soup Borscht.

I noticed a lot of recipes online called for a beef stock, and thin sliced beef in the soup, but I had a really nice bowl of Borscht in Singl-End café here in Glasgow a few months back which had a nice smokey ham flavour, so I thought I would try and replicate that in my recipe.

It turned out really great, and this is one World Cup Dinner I would really recommend you to try at home.



Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 medium-sized beetroot (about 450g/1lb, unpeeled weight), diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 3 new potatos, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1500ml ham stock
  • 4 smoked bacon medallions cut into bite size squares.
  • 2 cups of green cabbage, finely shredded
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

To Garnish:

  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Heavy sprinkle of finely chopped dill


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pan.
  • Add the beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic, then fry until the vegetables start to soften up.
  • Add in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for around 15 minutes.
  • Add the chopped bacon and cabbage, then simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

To serve:

  • Divide the soup between bowls, then add a dollop of soured cream and sprinkle with chopped dill.
  • Serve with sourdough bread and a green salad. A shot of vodka is nice too!


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GERMANY- Weißwurst Frühstück (Bavarian White Sausage Breakfast)

When deciding on what to make for my German World Cup Dinner, I got to thinking about the best meals I’ve had when visiting Germany, and I was clear that my absolute favourite was Weisswurst Frühstück- the traditional Bavarian Breakfast of weißwurst (white sausage), with pretzels, and weißbier (white beer).

I first had this when I visited Munich with my German friend Peter in the summer of 2004, and was pretty surprised to have breakfast served with a beer! So, with that in mind I’ve decided to have a go at another World Cup Breakfast.

One place that would be good to pick up some fresh Pretzels is the Bäckerei Klinsmann, the bakery owned by the family of German Football legend Jurgen Klinsmann, and where as a kid he undertook his apprenticeship as baker which he completed in 1982.

He proved more successful at football than making pretzels however, going on to collect 108 caps for the national team scoring 47 goals, including 11 at World Cup Finals. Jurgen’s greatest moment came at Italia ’90 were he captained Die Mannschaft to victory in the final against Argentina, who had defeated them 4 years earlier at Mexico ’86.


INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

4 Weißwurst

2 Pretzels

Sweet Bavarian Mustard

Large bottle of Bavarian white beer



  1. Fill medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil
  2. Take the saucepan off of the heat and place the weisswurst into the water immediately.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid, place for 10 to 15 minutes. Use tongs to remove the weisswurst and serve the sausages immediately.

Serve with pretzels, beer and plenty of mustard.

A few words on sourcing and eating Weißwurst Frühstück. The sausages aren’t so easy to source, but Bratwurst make a good substitute, and are available in most large supermarkets. The mustard is important- it’s not like the mustards you get in the supermarket, it’s much sweeter- so I’d recommend getting some ‘Händlmaier Hausmacher Senf’ online, as it really makes a difference. It has to be accompanied with a white beer too, and I’ve gone for Franzikaner Weissbier.

Next up is how to eat it. The casings aren’t eaten, so there are two techniques.

The first is Zuzeln (Bavarian slang term for sucking), where the ends of the sausage are opened and sucked from the casing.

The second is to split the sausage lengthwise and then remove the meat from the casing.


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CHILE- Milcaos


“Good evening. The game you are about to see is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.”

– David Coleman, 1962


And so ‘the Battle of Santiago’, the most violent game in the history of the World Cup, was introduced to the British television watching public.

Hosts Chile faced Italy on 2 June 1962 in what should have been a fairly ordinary group match, but with tensions were already running high between the two countries following disparaging remarks about Santiago published in the Italian press, the game quickly descended into a grudge match of epic proportions.

The first tackle took place 12 seconds into the tie, and the first red card followed after 8 minutes, with the Italian player having to be dragged off the pitch by the police. After a series of flying kicks and left hooks- a further two red cards were to follow in a match won 2-0 by Chile, which referee Ken Aston described thus: “I wasn’t reffing a football match, I was acting as an umpire in military manoeuvres.”

In honour of the Battle of Santiago (and as Chile are playing tonight), I am making Chilean ‘Milcaos’ which are simple potato pancakes, served with salsa, sour cream and jalapenos.


INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 lbs potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion grated
  • salsa, sour cream, jalepenos for serving



  1. Peel and boil half the potatoes until tender. (about 40 minutes)
  2. Mash the potatoes with the butter and salt.
  3. Peel the remaining potatoes and finely grate them.
  4. Put the grated potatoes in a kitchen cloth and squeeze out excess liquid.
  5. Combine the mashed and grated potatoes and knead them into a dough.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  7. Saute onions in olive oil over a medium low heat until they start to brown.
  8. Form the potato dough into 4 equal balls.
  9. Hollow out the balls and fill the holes with a teaspoon of onion mixture, and pinch the top closed when done.
  10. Flatten balls into patties.
  11. Fry the patties in a frying pan with 2 tbsps of olive oil until golden.
  12. Place all the milcaos on a baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes flipping halfway through.

Serve with fresh salsa, sour cream and jalepenos.

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