Bowl of Ukranian Borshch
(click to enlarge)

Ukrainian Borshch #1
Ukraine
  -   Borshch
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 qts  
***
Note-1  
Best

This Ukrainian soup has been adopted by all the Slavic countries and is made in endless variation. The one constant is beets (except for Green Borshch and White Borshch). Generally you start by making a batch of Russian Beef Stock which provides both the stock and the meat for this recipe. Serve in bowls with plenty of sour cream in a separate bowl to be stirred in as desired (see Note-5).




4
5
3
3/4
1-1/2
10
------
3
1
1
3
4
2
1/2
------
2
7
tt
tt
1
1
1
------
c
oz
oz
#
T
oz
---
oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
T
T
---

oz


cl
T
T
---
Beef Stock (1)
Beef, cooked (2)
Ham, cooked (3)
Beets, red
Lemon Juice
Potatoes (4)
-- Aromatics
Onion
Carrot
Celery & leaves
Bell Pepper
Cabbage, green
Butter
Tomato Paste
----------
Prunes
Diced Tomatoes  
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Dill
Parsley
-- Serve with
Sour Cream (5)
  1. Make the BEEF STOCK if you haven't already. Put it in an adequate size pot.
  2. Chill the COOKED BEEF so it cuts well and cut it into bite size pieces. Cut the HAM into similar size pieces and mix with beef.
  3. Cook BEETS. Most recipes say wrap individually in foil and bake at 375°F/190°C for 1-1/4 hour but boiling in the skins works well enough (here in Southern California we're reluctant to fire up ovens unless we really have to).
  4. When Beets are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and slice about 1/4" thick, then cut the slices into sticks about 1/4" wide. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with LEMON JUICE. Turn a couple times while they sit.
  5. Peel POTATOES and cut into large bite size pieces. Put in the pot with the stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Chop ONION medium, cut CARROT into short matchsticks, chop CELERY medium and mix all.
  7. Char the BELL PEPPER black with your propane torch and rub off the skin under running water. Cut into strips about 1/4" wide by 1" long. Add to Onion Mix.
  8. Core the CABBAGE, quarter lengthwise and cut crosswise into narrow shreds.
  9. In a 3 quart sauté pan or a wok heat 2 T Butter and fry Onion mix stirring over moderate heat until onions are translucent, then stir in Cabbage. Continue to fry stirring until cabbage is softened and coated with oil. Stir in Tomato Paste, then add all to the stock pot.
  10. Add Beets and Lemon Juice to the pot. Chop PRUNES and add to the pot along with Diced Tomatoes (sadly, these are best from a can). Season to taste with Salt and Pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
  11. Chop GARLIC small, chop DILL and PARSLEY medium, and add to the pot along with the Cooked Beef and Ham. Add water to get the degree of soupiness you want. Bring to a boil and simmer another 5 minutes.
  12. Take off the heat and let the soup rest in a cool place for a few hours or overnight.
  13. Bring back to a simmer, check seasoning and serve hot. Serve Sour Cream on the side to be added by individual diners as they see fit. Do not stir sour cream into the pot - it turns the soup a brilliant fluorescent pink some find unappetizing.
NOTES:
  1. Beef Stock:   It's best to start this soup by making a batch of Russian Beef Stock which takes about 4 hours but not a lot of attention most of that time. Of course you can use beef stock made by other methods too. Once you have the stock it takes about an hour or so to make this soup, but it's best made ahead and allowed to sit for at least a few hours or overnight to mature, then reheat.
  2. Beef:   If you've made the Russian Beef Stock, you have a nice lump of cooked beef to use for this recipe. Otherwise use any meat that's been cooked tender.
  3. Ham:   Other meats can also be used, and sausages as well.
  4. Potatoes:   White Rose potatoes work well, but other waxy or boiling potatoes will too. Avoid "Yukon Gold" type potatoes which tend to turn to mush if overcooked even a little. For details see our Potatoes page.
  5. Sour Cream:   Select a good, tart, naturally made Sour Cream. Some supermarket brands are highly artificial, gum stabilized and hardly at all sour.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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