Bowl of Zaporizhzhya Borshch
(click to enlarge)

Borshch, Zaporizhzhya-style
Ukraine
  -   Borshch po-zaporizhs'ky
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 qts  
***
3 hrs
Yes

A hearty and flavorful soup from the region of the Ukranian Kozaks (see Note-5). It is usually made from pork spare ribs, but It can be made from beef short ribs. For beef I usually use the Beef Rib Soup, Hetman-style recipe.




3
8
2
7
1
------
9
2
1-3/4
1-1/2
2
3
------
1/4
2
------
1/4
------
#
c
t


---
oz
cl
#
c
T
T
---
c
t
---
c
---
Spare Ribs (1)
Water
Salt
Peppercorns
Bay Leaf
-- Vegetables
Onion
Garlic
Beets
Sauerkraut (2)
Butter
Tomato Paste
-- Finish
Lemon Juice
Sugar
-- Garnish
Parsley, chopped
-- Serve with
Sour Cream (3)
Make   -   (3 hrs - 45 min work)
  1. Separate individual RIBS and cut into shorter lengths if needed for your chosen service style (see Serving Options).
  2. Place Ribs in a pot with 8 cups Water. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum that rises as it starts to boil.
  3. Stir in Salt, Peppercorns and Bay Leaf. cover tightly and simmer about 1 hour (at least 1-3/4 hours for beef ribs).
  4. Meanwhile:   Chop ONIONS small. Slice GARLIC thin. Mix.
  5. Peel BEETS and dice about 3/4 inch on a side.
  6. Drain Sauerkraut but not too much. Do not squeeze out or rinse. Chop very coarse (about 1-1/2 inches long) so it won't tangle up into a big ball in the soup.
  7. Melt Butter and fry Onion mix until translucent but not at all browned. Stir into Ribs.
  8. When Ribs have cooked their allotted time, stir in Beets, Sauerkraut and Tomato Paste. Bring back to a boil and simmer another 40 minutes or so.
  9. Remove the Ribs from the soup and process as required for your chosen serving style (see Serving Options).
  10. Finish with Lemon Juice and Sugar. Check seasoning and serve hot, garnished with parsley. 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. Ribs:   This is most often made with Pork Spare Ribs, but Beef Short Ribs can be used with adjustment of cooking time. In either case they should be "bone in", as boniness is considered important to this soup.
  2. Sauerkraut:   Select a good quality sauerkraut. Very fine ones are imported from Poland in jars. For details see our Sauerkraut page.
  3. Sour Cream:   Select a good, tart, naturally made Sour Cream. Some supermarket brands are highly artificial, gum stabilized and hardly at all sour.
  4. Serving Options:   The most traditional way to serve this is to remove the ribs intact and serve them as a next course after the soup. Another option, particularly with Beef ribs, is to pull the ribs, remove the bones, cut the meat to soup size pieces and return to the soup. This would be a good way for buffet service with either beef or pork ribs. A third option, which I used for the photo specimen, is to cut the ribs in short pieces before cooking (a little over 1 inch), and just leave them in the soup for service. This is easily done using a sharp Chinese cleaver knife driven by a soft faced mallet.
  5. Zaporizhia:   This city is on the Dnieper river in the eastern half of Ukraine. This was the region of the Zaporizhian Sich, stronghold of the Zaporizhian Cossack Host (Kozak in Ukranian). The Kozaks, feeling abused by Polish Hetman Mikolaj "Bear Paw" Potocki, allied with the Russians against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. That didn't work out in the long run. The Sich was over-run by the Russian Empire and it's fortress burned to the ground.
  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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