Borscht is a wonderful hearty colourful soup of eastern European origin. Recipes seem to vary a great deal. I noted down my mother-in-law’s recipe in 1981 when I was still living in Canada. She had brought the recipe with her from Germany. During the war she and her family fled from Russia and lived for a time in Czechoslovakia. Food was scarce at that time, and this soup, made from beef bones and vegetables, was probably cheap but wholesome in those difficult days. I recently made a big pot full! Enjoy!
2 ½ lbs SHORT RIBS
I cook them in a pressure cooker. Brown them first, then add about 4 CUPS BEEF STOCK and cook 35 minutes. Let the cooker cool. Remove ribs and transfer stock to a big pot. Cut up meat and set aside.
While the meat is cooking I prepare the vegetables:
3-4 LARGE CARROTS (grated)
2 BEETROOT (grated)
1 LARGE POTATO (grated)
1 LARGE ONION (grated)
½ A LARGE CABBAGE (thin sliced and then chopped)
1 GREEN PEPPER (chopped)
3 STALKS CELERY (chopped)
30 WHOLE ALLSPICE (I tie them in a muslin bag)
1 x 28 oz CAN TOMATOES (chopped)
SALT & PEPPER
With the stock nice and hot add the chopped tomatoes, the bay leaves, and the allspice (tied in a small muslin bag). Then add all the veggies and the meat. Mix well, put the lid on and simmer on low for 1 ½ HOURS.
There are many different recipes for borscht on the internet. I get the feeling that this one evolved and changed due to food availability during the war – and maybe has evolved even more since then. I would certainly add other veggies if I had a few to use up.
Part of the great fun of doing a post like this is photographing the food. It’s not really necessary but I love the colours and textures.
Served this evening with fresh French Campagne (country) bread!