Classic Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

Updated on December 2, 2017
Cast your vote for Ukrainian Classic Borscht

My mother told me that she didn't like borscht, based off of distant memories of a friend of hers who had prepared some in college. This seemed like quite a terrible shame, since I was convinced that such a renowned soup had to have more culinary appeal than that. And so I resolved to set out and cook a version of it that she would like. In this, I was immensely fortunate to have Please to the Table, The Russian Cookbook, by Anya von Bremzen, which is a truly splendid Russian and former USSR cookbook that I heavily recommend.

This recipe is quite superb in my opinion. It combines rich, hearty beef with a thick melange of vegetables, the sweetness of beets, and a host of various flavorings and spices. Taste is something that it does not lack, and it is easy to adjust it to become more tart (with additional lemon juice) or more sweet (with sugar). But, personally, I like it just the way it is.

While it may look difficult to make because of the traditional process for producing beef stock, in my opinion, it is actually not very hard at all. The stock production process blends in well with preparing the beets, and overall, the recipe is surprisingly easy for a "classic" dish.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Ingredients

  • 2 lb beef chuck
  • 1/2 lb ham, preferably with a ham bone as well
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 leek white section of
  • 1/4 teaspoon + additional ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon + additional servings dried dill
  • 6 sprigs + additional servings of cilantro
  • 2 beets
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut finely
  • 3 cups of chopped cabbage
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 dried prunes
  • salt, as desired
  • sugar, (optional, to sweeten it)
  • sour cream, absolutely vital
  • 4 pieces bacon, (optional but really good)
  • 3 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Firstly, prepare the stock. Combine together the 2 quarts water - cups, the beef, and the ham, in a large stew pot. Heat over high heat, until the water boils. There will be foam which floats to the surface during this period, so skim that off. Then reduce heat to low, and add the small onion, with its skin removed and cut into sections, the white part of a leek, carrot cut into 4 sections, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon dried dill, 2 bay leaves, and 6 cilantro/parsley sprigs. Cook for 1 and 1/2 hours over low heat, until the meat is tender.
  2. Wash and dry the 1 pounds of beets, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees f for 1 and 1/4 hours. When taking out of the oven, allow to cool to a manageable temperature, and then stem and peel them, afterwards cutting into a fine julienne or dice.
  3. When the meat is tender, remove the solids from the stock. Strain the stock through a siege into a clean large soup pot, preserve the meat (except for the bone part), and discard the remaining solids.
  4. In the new soup pot, bring the stock to a boil, then add 4 potatoes which have been diced into medium sized pieces, and the can of plum tomatoes, which have also been diced into medium sized pieces. Reduce heat, and simmer for some 10 minutes.
  5. Simultaneously, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add the chopped onion, green pepper, and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the 3 cups of chopped cabbage. Sauté 10 minutes additional. Then add all of these ingredients into the pot.
  6. Add the beets into the pot, and then add the juice of 1/2 lemon. . Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, and add both the ham and the beef into the stock. Stir the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more
  7. Add the 2 tablespoons tomato paste, the 5 dried prunes, season with pepper and salt, and additional lemon juice depending on if one wants a soup which is sweet or tart (if one wants a sweeter soup, one can also add in sugar). Simmer 5 minutes more.
  8. Remove the borscht from the heat, stir in 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon dried dill, if desired, crumbled 4 pieces of bacon and additional cilantro sprigs. Let stand for 15 minutes prior to serving, if desired garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, and serve with sour cream.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Ryan Thomas

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)