Borscht Recipe with Meat
- 1 lb Beef: sirloin stew meat, or whatever kind of beef you like, really (bone-in or boneless *see note)
- 14 cups cold water
- 1 Tbsp salt + more to taste
- 2 large or 3 medium beets washed, peeled and grated
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp tomato sauce or paste (or 3 Tbsp ketchup)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 carrots grated
- 2 large or 3 medium potatoes peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 head of small cabbage sliced
- 2 to matoes peeled and diced (**see note)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- Garnish: Sour cream and fresh sprigs of parsley or dill.
Wash meat in cold water, cut into 1" pieces and and place in a large soup pot with 14 cups cold water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring it to a boil and remove the foam crud as soon as it boils (if you wait, it will be hard to get rid of the crud as it integrates into the broth and you'd have to strain it later). Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 45 minutes - 1 hr, periodically skimming off any crud that rises to the top.
Grate beets on the large grater holes (a food processor works amazingly well). Place them in a large heavy-bottom skillet with 4 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp vinegar and saute for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to med/low and add 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato sauce Mix thoroughly and saute until starting to soften, stirring occasionally (about 10 min). Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet (no need to wash it), Saute onion in 1 Tbsp butter for 2 min. Add grated carrot and sautee another 5 min or until softened, adding more oil if it seems too dry.
Once the meat has been cooking at least 45 min, place sliced potatoes into
the soup pot and cook 10 min, then add cabbage, sauteed beets, onion & carrot, and chopped tomatoes. Cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Add 2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp pepper, and more salt to taste (I added another 1/2 tsp salt).
Chop parsley and pressed garlic then stir them into the soup pot, immediately cover and remove from heat. Let the pot rest covered for 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.
*Pork can be used also. And if your meat has a bone in it, place it in the water whole. After it boils for 45 min to 1 hour, remove it from soup, cut away and discard the bone and cut meat into 1" pieces).
**To peel whole tomatoes, blanch them in boiling hot water for 30-45 seconds, then transfer to cold water and the skin should peel right off.