Borscht Recipe: Step-By-Step Guide
Coming from Ukraine, borscht is one of the soups I grew up with and one of the things I miss the most. Every Russian or Ukrainian woman knows her own special borscht recipe. For many Americans borscht is something exotic—but once someone tries borscht, she can't forget it and will definitely look for the recipe to try to cook it herself.
Here is a recipe for borscht I cook from time to time. Traditionally, borscht is served with pampushky, or sweet bread that resembles brioche rolls, garnished with garlic. I have included a link to my pampushky recipe at the end of this article.
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What is Borscht?
Borscht is a traditional soup in Eastern and Central Europe, a national dish of several countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Romania, Lithuania. Borscht is characterized by deep red color due to beet used in it.
There are many different borscht recipes, but all of them contain the same ingredients. The difference may be in the order of cooking and adding each ingredient. This is my borscht recipe - the way I cook borscht and the way I like it the most. Try it, and you won't regret it.
- 1 lbs of beef
- 1/3 medium head of cabbage
- 4 potatoes
- 1-2 onions
- 1 carrot
- 1-2 beets, boiled or canned
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-2 laurel leaves
- sour cream
- Put beef into the pan and add cold water. Don't try to speed up the process by adding boiling water, it will result in a thin film on meat which would not allow important nutrients, that give broth special taste and strength, getting out. Cook the beef broth (with meat or meat bones), salt.
- When the meat is ready, remove it from the broth.
- Add sliced potatoes and cabbage to the broth and cook them (I usually don't slice cabbage, instead I cut it in squares; to do it, cut off the part of cabbage head and start slicing the cabbage lengthwise, and then slice it crosswise to make quarter-rounds)
- While the cabbage and potatoes are cooking, prepare the basis for the borscht: chop carrot, onions and beets (to chop onions, first of all, wet the blade of the knife in cold water - that will prevent you from "crying" while cutting onion, cut the onion in halves, start slicing each half lengthwise, not reaching the bottom, and then cut it crosswise).
- Fry carrot and onions in butter.
- Add beet and tomato paste to carrot and onions, stir everything, and leave to simmer on the low-medium heat until ready (watch it not to burn).
- As soon as vegetables are ready, add them to the broth with cooked cabbage and potato, stir, add sliced meat, dill and parsley and heat it for 5 more minutes.
- Add laurel leaves and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving (actually, the more borscht stays, the better it becomes, I like it most of all the next day after it was cooked).
- Serve borscht with sour cream.
Borscht With Pampushky
If you want to have the experience of a truly Ukrainian meal, try my recipe for pampushky, which is a must-have addition to a borscht in Ukraine.