Borscht (aka Borsch) is a sour soup with beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish a vibrant red color. Borscht is popular in cuisines of some Eastern European, such as Ukrainian, Russian, Belorussian, Romanian, Polish and Lithuanian. There are many variations of borscht.
Today’s recipe taught me one of my colleagues from Western Ukraine. The difference is that we don’t sauteed vegetables and add them as they are. It makes taste of borsch brighter and let you feel taste each of vegetables better. We will cook borsch based on meat stock, but, you could use vegetable stock as well.
For the stock:
- 600-800 gr (about 1 ½ pounds) meat fillet or with bones (chicken, beef or pork)
- 1 medium sized onion, peeled
- 1 medium sized carrot, peeled
- Bay leaf, coriander seeds, thyme, black pepper peas and salt to taste
- 3-4 liters (about 4 quarts) cold filtered water
For the borsch:
- 500 gr (about 1 pound) potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 medium sized beetroot, peeled and grated
- 1 big carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 big onion, pilled and finely chopped
- 300-400 gr (about ¾ pound) cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 bell pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup canned tomatoes diced
- 1 chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (to taste)
- 1/3 cup fresh greens of parsley, coriander and dill, finely chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Let’s get started!!!
- First let’s cook meat stock. Rinse meat, put in a big pan with cold filtered water.Place onion, carrot, bay leaf and spices. Cover with cap and place the pan on a high heat. Bring stock to the boil, reduce the heat. Use a large metal spoon to scoop away the scum from surface. Try to keep stock to a low simmer on the lowest heat. Don’t cover pan with cap. Cooking time depends from the kind of meat: for chicken – 1-2 hours, for pork less then 2,5 hours, for beef 2,5-3 hours. While stock is cooking you could prepare all vegetables. When stock is ready remove from the heat. Take onion, carrot and meat out and strain the stock. Pour stock back to the pan and add hot boiled water.
- Now time to cook borsch! Bring stock to the boil and add salt. Place potato, bring to boil, reduce the heat to minimum and cook 10-15 minutes. Add cabbage and bell pepper and cook 10 minutes. Put onion, carrot, beetroot and diced tomatoes bring to a boil, reduce heat to minimum and cook about 15 minutes. Try borsch, and add more salt if necessary. After add greens, garlic, ground black pepper and chili pepper. In 5 minutes remove from the heat, cover with cap and let the borsch rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve borsch with sour cream, black bread, lard, garlic or garlic croutons.You could cut meat from the stock on big pieces and add to the plates with borsch before serving.