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This makes a wonderfully healthy, hearty borscht adapted from a recipe at Mothering.com. The original recipe calls for simmering for 2 hours, but we've found that this isn't sufficient for tenderizing even quality stew meat, so I've upped the cooking time to a total of 4 hours. I would add one tablespoon of honey first, taste, and only add more if needed. Don't forget the sour cream!
- 4 quarts water
- 1 1⁄2 lbs stew meat (optional)
- 2 medium onions, sliced into rounds
- 2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch lengths
- 4 -6 carrots, sliced into thin coins
- 4 beets, peeled and sliced
- 1 head green cabbage, cut into wedges
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 beet, grated (optional)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 -2 tablespoon honey
- sour cream
- Into 4 quarts of water add stew meat, onions, celery, sliced beets, cabbage, bay leaf, and salt.
- Simmer for 3.5 hours.
- After simmering add grated beets (optional), tomato paste, vinegar and honey.
- Simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve each bowl with a dollop of sour cream.