Hot Borscht for Cold Nights

Among heartwarming foods, this beef/beet based borscht, is adapted from a Persian cook book and is known as “Russian Style”. I only cook it during very cold winter nights; that would be anywhere colder than -10C.

And believe you me, the dish turns so delicious, in those nights I wish we had an even longer winter in Montreal!

Ingredients (serving 4):

  • Beef’s bone broth,  ½  liter (Home-made, strongly recommended).
  • Beef shank (or muscle cuts, whichever you prefer), 300 gr., trimmed, washed and chopped.
  • Onion, 1 medium, peeled and chopped.
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, peeled and mashed.
  • Cabbage, 300 gr. , sliced.
  • Beets, 300 gr., peeled and chopped.
  • Beet leaves, ½ cup, chopped.
  • Tomatoes, 4 medium, peeled and chopped.
  • Fresh dill, ½ cup.
  • Mix of Sour cream, and yogurt 1 cup.
  • Red vinegar, 1 tbsp.
  • Oil or butter, 1 tbsp.  Salt and pepper as required.

Method: Once you have all the ingredients, all it takes is four easy steps taken in about two hours. First, in a big pot, warm oil (or butter) and sauté garlic, then add meat and fry for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Second, add broth, onions, cabbages, beets, vinegar, salt and pepper. Top them with enough warm water to allow about an hour and half of slow cooking. Bring to a boil, then simmer until meat and vegetables are tender.

Third, add in beet leaves and tomatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Fourth, Five minutes before serving, stir in fresh dill and adjust taste and thickness.

In an ideal world, borsch is taken with black bread while the driveway is covered with white snow. But even in a not-so-ideal world, borsch must be served very hot. So, make sure you warm up the serving dish(s) in advance.  If you are serving the borscht in one big bowl, put next to it a small bowl of room-temperature sour cream-yogurt mix. It goes on top of the borscht, and stirred in of course. Bon Appétit!

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