We are big borscht fans in our house. (Is that a thing? Is there a borscht fan club? If I started one, would you join?) And this one is ridiculously good. I’ve tried several recipes over the years and this one comes out far and away as the winner. I ate it for three days straight and wished I had more.
Rich in taste and color, perfect for a cozy Sunday evening at home. Don’t let the time required deter you, it’s mostly hands-off.
- 1½ pounds beef stew meat
- 1 pound beef marrow bones
- 1 onion with skin, cut in half
- 2 carrots, peeled; 1 quartered, 1 grated
- 3 red beets, scrubbed well
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- ½ pound red cabbage, shredded
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: 1 boiled potato per person, chopped dill, and sour cream
- In a large(ish) saucepan or dutch oven cover the beef & bones with 6 cups of water. Add halved onion and quartered carrot.
- Bring to a boil and skim off any of the foamy fat that rises to the top with a spoon. (Reserve in a cup and give to your dog as an extra-special treat if you are a crazy pet lady like me!)
- Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Keep the liquid and beef. Toss the bones, carrot, and onion.
- Put the liquid and beef back in the pot. Add beets and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. (At this point you should be able to easily pierce beets with a knife. If not, simmer a little longer).
- Remove the beets and allow to cool a little. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel beets (the peels should slip off pretty easily. Though be warned, you cutting board and hands will look like a murder scene.)
- Grate the beets! (I used the chunkier end of my cheese grater.) Add grated beets back into the soup.
- Dissolve tomato past in half a cup of soup.
- Stir tomato paste, garlic, cabbage, tomato, bay leaf, and vinegar into the soup. Bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 2 hours.
- Remove beef and shred with a fork. Add beef back in.
- If you'd like, place a boiled potato in the bottom of each large bowl. Pour soup on top. Add sour cream and chopped dill to your heart's desire. Enjoy!
(P.S. Beet pee is totally a thing, it event has a science-y name: beeturia. Don’t be alarmed. You are not dying.)