🇷🇴 Romania: Salată de Boeuf

Salată de boeuf (beef salad) is a classic Romanian dish, generally served during holiday celebrations, like Christmas or Easter. Served as an cold appetizer, it is a combination of finely chopped boiled beef and diced boiled carrots, parsnip, celery root, potatoes, and pickles, all mixed together with mayonnaise and a dash of mustard. The salad is popular in many other countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, under different names and versions. This is the Romanian version, with a smooth and creamy texture, subtle crunch from the diced vegetables and pickles, and a rich flavor.

“Like many Romanians, I cannot imagine a holiday celebration without Salată de boeuf, probably the most famous Romanian salad. There are different versions around my country and every family in Romania has its own recipe—there is no right or wrong way to make it.”

-Andrei Muraru, Ambassador of Romania
For the full experience, play this traditional tune while prepping the recipe!

🇷🇴 Romania: Salată de Boeuf—Beef Salad

Servings 10
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours


  • 1 pound beef shank or osso buco
  • 1 pound white potatoes
  • 1/2 pound carrots
  • 1/2 pound celeriac celery root or turnip-rooted celery
  • 1/2 pound parsnip
  • 1 cup frozen or canned peas
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons mustard to taste
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles + a few pickles cut lengthwise for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olives for garnish


  • Place the meat in a pot of salted water and boil on medium heat until tender for about an hour or so. Remove the meat from the water and set it aside to cool.
  • Peel the carrots, the parsnips and the celery root. Wash the potatoes very well.
  • In another pot, put the carrots, parsnips, and celeriac in water and boil on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes to the pot. Simmer until fork tender, for 15-20 minutes. The potatoes will cook faster than the other vegetables. Add the peas in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside to cool.
  • After the meat and vegetables have cooled, peel the potatoes and chop all the vegetables into small pieces, about ½ inch.
  • Chop the pickled cucumbers into small pieces, about ½ inch. Drain very well in a sieve.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding mayonnaise and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put the salad into a bowl and smooth out the top of the salad with a spatula, and then spread a thin layer of mayonnaise to cover the surface. Garnish with olives and pickles cut lengthwise.
  • Chill salad in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to a few hours. The salad is served cold.

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