Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 24, 2022

© Tracy Kusiewicz

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Borscht with beef

This lovely soup is colourful -- and thifty

This lovely soup of Ukrainian origin was eaten in Russia well before Soviet times, but gained wide appeal during this time period. Popularized by public eateries and restaurants, this colourful and thrifty dish became one of the most recognized symbols of Russian and Slavic cuisine.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1½ hours

1 lb. (500 g) beef (brisket) or pork (brisket or ribs)
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1 bay leaf
3 whole black peppercorns
2 c. (500 ml) julienned beets
2 tbsp. (30 ml) sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 c. (250 ml) julienned carrots
¼ c. (60 ml) tomato paste
¼ c. (60 ml) water
2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
2 c. (500 ml) diced potatoes
3 c. (750 ml) finely sliced cabbage
6 tbsp. (90 ml) sour cream
¼ c. (60 ml) finely chopped parsley
¼ c. (60 ml) finely chopped dill

Place the meat in a large stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Remove any foam that forms with a slotted spoon, then add salt, bay leaf, peppercorns and beets. Reduce the heat to medium and once the stock boils again remove the foam. Further reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, heat sunflower oil and sauté the onion and carrots until onion is golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste diluted in a 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, sugar and lemon juice, and reduce the heat to low. Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture has the consistency of a thick pasta sauce.

Add potatoes and cabbage to the stockpot with the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add the sautéed tomato and carrot mixture. Stir and let the borscht simmer on low heat until potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 10 to 20 minutes.

Once all the vegetables are tender, remove the pot from heat; take out the meat and cut it into bite-sized pieces before returning it to the pot. Cover and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes to let all the flavours blend.

To serve, ladle the hot borscht into bowls or plates, garnish with a dollop of sour cream, and finely chopped parsley and dill. Makes 6 servings.

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Showing 2 comments

  1. On March 16, 2015, Sleem Feroze said:
    I tasted Borcht in the Famous Jewish quarter in Krakow,when the "Popsi" was visiting years ago. No deserts were allowed to be served on that day,someone explain why? This Borcht had No meat,just red cabbage. I next tasted Borsh in Moscow without meat last year and it tasted bland. I then tasted Borsh in St.Petersburg made by "Georgian/ Gregorian restaurant",it had cheese and garlic and meat..the best I tasted. I did not realize that there were so many different sorts of Borcht
  2. On March 16, 2015, Olena said:
    Unfortunately people are often mistaken and mix up Russian and Ukrainian cuisine. Borsch has never been a Russian dish, only Ukrainian especially for the recipe above. Russian cuisine has similar meatless soup and it's called shchi ( щи). If you want to try a really good borsch - you have to do it in Ukraine only.

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