Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs
For a good borsch, is to prepare the stock and vegetables correctly, strictly observing the proper order in which the ingredients are added. The amount of sugar included is a source of great dispute among borsch lovers. Some like it sweet and mild, others, myself included, prefer it tart and zesty. Adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to suit your taste. Borsch tastes better the next day.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs short rib of beef
- 1 lb pork ribs
- 2 beef bones with marrow
- 3 quarts water
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled
- 1 stalk celery & leaves
- 1 bouquet garni (3 dill sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs, 4 bay leaves, and 10 peppercorns tied in a cheesecloth bag)
- 2 large beets, baked (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 4 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 lb fresh ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (16 ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- salt, to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice, more to taste
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- sour cream
- FOR THE STOCK: In a large soup pot, bring the meat, bones, and water to a boil over high heat, periodically skimming off the foam as it rises to the top.
- Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, at least 45 minutes.
- When the stock is ready, remove the beef, pork, and marrow bones, and set all but the marrow bones aside.
- Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean large pot and discard all the solids.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil.
- Bake the beets until tender, 1 1/4 hours.
- Do this while the stock is cooking.
- FOR THE SOUP: Allow the beets to cool until manageable, then stem and peel them and cut into julienne or fine dice.
- Bring the stock to a boil, add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes, add the potatoes, onion, carrots, peppers and cook for 20 more minutes, add beets and tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Season to taste with sugar, pepper, and additional lemon juice and salt.
- Simmer for 15 more minutes.
- Cut the beef into bite-size pieces and scrape all the meat off the bones.
- Add meat to the soup.
- Simmer for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the borsch from the heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic, bacon (if desired), and 3 tablespoons each parsley and dill.
- Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with sour cream.
- Serves 12 to 14.
Meatless borsch is call svekol'nik which in translation means beet soup. This is my version: I really do not know just how authentic you want it to be but I would not give my 2 year old something that would be bad for me(and he really loves borsch, but only when he eats it at home, in restaurants he doesn’t eat even one spoon of it, God knows we have tried)… Things have changed in Ukraine and people do not eat lard with garlic as much now, as they did before (yes it was really good, it had a very nice, unique slightly smoked-flavored taste and it was pink in color and was covered in salt , then you had to scrape the salt off with a knife, peel some garlic get some dark bread a tomato and eat it, in some Hungarian stores you can still buy some very delicious lard in Austria was even a better one, but in Ukraine it was unbelievable ) and now, that you know where I’m from, lets go back to the borsch , please listen to me…if you don’t want your veins or arteries to get clogged up, or have a shortness of breath eat garlic without lard but with borsch, when serving it, garnish with some fresh dill but don’t add garlic or dill to the borsch (I don’t know why, but don’t, I think the borsch gets spoiled too soon) Then let me add my 2 cents...first of all ,adding sugar (one cube to be exact) preserves the red color of borsch try to pick very small beets they are much tastier that means you don't have to bake it,just shred it,just like the cabbage( in Ukraine only the pigs would eat large sugar beets-saharnaya svekla) instead of too much salt add some ketchup and tomato paste, instead of bacon or pork ribs just try ox tails or veal tails (my #1choice)-yes you have to cook the meat first and remove the foamy fat that floats on the top you will find it much tastier and the borsch should be clear not muddy,( for very same reason I don’t like to add potatoes or beans, too much starch and the beans change the color from red borsch to average looking soup and the taste is way off) so don’t add any vegetables until you remove all that mud I don’t know how you call that in English , anyway you don’t want to eat that, so just remove it with the spoon rinse and keep removing and rinsing the spoon until the top of the pot and the broth is nice and clean ...if the color of borsch is dirty no real Russian or Ukrainian will eat it...trust me…I've recently had purchased a ZEPTER cookware from Switzerland , so I just do all my preparations before… I would start simmering meat and all for like 30 +min and then turn the gas completely off and cover it, the cookware has a 10 mm surgical still bottom ,so it retains the same heat for hours, without the gas being turned on, so you can just go and play with the kids in the park get really hungry then come back take a shower serve the plates and after 2+ hours (Regular cookware add another hour and simmer on low heat, do not leave it unattended) the borsch is ready to be eaten, and it’s so good trust me you can actually taste every ingredient that goes into the borsch it is like an accord on a very expensive $10,000 guitar you can actually hear the sound of every string and not just one accord…the vegetables don’t change their color and don’t get overcooked but are very soft and slightly crunchy even after 2 hours of cooking your food is full of nutrients and it is delicious also I personally like fresh garlic(yes you can still kiss if you both have it), maybe because I don’t like too much of a cooked garlic, (I think it overpowers the taste, if it is cooked and sometimes it can cause heartburn and gas, when you add too much of it) with dark bread from a Russian deli store, (I think Lithuanian made breads are besti think it's cal Narochinskiy,I'm not sure) and Canadian sour cream that is sold also in all Russian deli stores...it has a much better taste actually exactly the same taste just like the homemade sour cream that I had in Ukraine, probably the Ukrainians that live in Canada produce it… Enjoy your borsch…bon appetite to all. p.s. save most of the borsch for tomorrow it will taste even better, I don't know why, but it does taste better, there also was a joke: (With the Jewish accent) -Haim do you want yesterday's borsch? -Yes (Da)! -Then come tomorrow :)
thanks for the recipe :) it's great! I like it because it's flexible. I omit the peppers and | usually add way more dill. thanks again :)
This was just what I was looking for, I made it a little differant, no pork, canned beets and tomatoes, vinegar instead of lemon juice, and no parsely. It is heavenly! I used to order this at a Deli many years ago and was crazy about. Thank you! I did add more sugar > 5 tsp. brown sugar