I have been looking at different recipes for Borscht over the last week and none seemed to be something that Hubby would enjoy – until I saw Baba’s Borscht published in our local paper on Sunday. This particular recipe includes beef and beef stock. I thought I would give it a try and it turned out delicious. You still get the gorgeous ruby red broth from the beets and red cabbage, but the inclusion of meat makes it more robust. Topped with a dollop of sour cream it will take your taste buds on a journey from tangy to some place rich and warm. This is beet season my friends. Try this and let me know what you think.
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1 inch cubes
4 bay leaves
2 quarts beef stock
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large onions chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 medium-size beets skinned and shredded
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small can tomato paste
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh minced dill
1 handful fresh parsley minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sour Cream (optional)
You will be starting with the meat first, so wait to prep your vegetables until after the meat has been set on a simmer.
In a large pot, heat the oil on high for 30 seconds. Add the beef cubes and bay leaves. Sauté’ until golden brown. Pour in the first quart of stock and Worcestershire sauce and reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. (I bought meat on the bone so after trimming the extra fat off and cubing, I cooked the bones with the meat for the first 30 minutes)
Now, remove the bones (if any) and the bay leaves and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Pour in the additional quart of stock, bring to a boil and immediately reduce to low and cook for 2 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender.
Add the beets and cabbage during the last half hour of cooking. Stir until well combined.
Then, stir in the tomato paste and squeeze the lemon over the pot. Add a little hot water if the soup is too thick. Stir in the dill and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish each individual bowl with a dollop of sour cream if desired.