Although some might argue that this dish is Ukrainian, it has become a staple soup in Russian cuisine as well. The most important ingredient of this soup is beetroot, a vegetable that gives the dish its vibrant color and distinctly eartly flavour. Other ingredients are usually cabbage, potato, onion, carrot, and tomato. Borscht is often made with beef broth, but can easily be adjusted to be vegetarian. It is usually served with a spoonful of sour cream, some parsley or dill on the top, and a slice of bread on the side.
- 500 grams beef meat of your choice I have used beef shank
- 400 grams white cabbage
- 300 grams potatoes
- 200 grams beets
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 sweet pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bundle dill
- 1 bundle parsley
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 liters water
- black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- ground red hot pepper
- salt to taste
- To create an exceptionally delicious Russian borscht, beef is the meat of choice. It is essential to select the appropriate beef cuts, such as flank, neck, ribs, or a bone-in piece like the shoulder blade.
- Dry the meat with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Place the beef in a deep pot, add the requisite quantity of water, and set it over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Skim off the gray-white foam, which is coagulated protein, using a slotted spoon. Keep the pot partially covered, and simmer the broth until the meat is fully cooked, typically taking around 2-3 hours, depending on its quality and age.
- While the meat is simmering, focus on the remaining ingredients. Discard the outer leaves, usually damaged, from the white cabbage. Peel carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Remove the stem from the bell pepper and clean it. Cut away the thickened stems from the dill and parsley, reserving the leaves for the borscht. Thoroughly wash and dry all the vegetables. Cut the potatoes into large cubes measuring 2–2.5 centimeters and place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration.
- Cut the cabbage, carrots, onions, beets, and bell peppers into thin strips. The length of the cut is not critical, but the thickness should ideally range from 2 to 4 millimeters. Prepare the cabbage to your liking. Chop the dill and parsley, finely mince the garlic cloves, and store each in separate containers, arranging the rest of the necessary ingredients on the countertop.
- Heat a deep frying pan over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent (approximately 2-3 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Then, add the carrots and continue cooking until they become tender. Create a well in the center of the pan and add the beet strips. Allow them to heat for 4-5 minutes, then season with tomato paste. Thoroughly combine the ingredients and add a small amount of water (half of cup ). Simmer the vegetables over low heat for 8–10 minutes until they are nearly cooked, and the liquid has evaporated. Set the pan aside and check on the meat.
- When the beef is boiled, transfer it to a deep bowl and let it cool. Strain the hot broth through a sieve into a clean deep saucepan, put over medium heat. While the broth is boiling, we divide the cooled beef into portioned pieces of the desired size.
- When the broth starts to boil again, put potatoes and white cabbage in it and cook them for 10 minutes. After this time, add the sautéed vegetables (beets, carrots, and onions), and season with sugar, salt to taste, bay leaves, and pepper. Continue to cook the borscht for an additional 10 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and the dill and parsley.
- Then pour into it garlic, bell pepper and dill and parsley. Stir everything to a homogeneous consistency, taste, if necessary, add more spices and keep the first dish on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid and insist the dish for 12-15 minutes. After this borscht can be tasted!
- Then using a ladle pour portions into deep plates, optionally season each with sour cream and decorate with finely chopped greens of dill, parsley, cilantro or green onions. Bon appétit!