Friday, February 8, 2013

Ukrainian Borscht (or Borshch)

This recipe comes by way of much historical and ethnic research and putting together a recipe.  Much like General Tso's Chicken is indicative of Hunan Cuisine, this recipe is meant to savor the multitudinous flavors of the many ways of making Ukrainian Borscht.  In essence, borscht served hot is a winter dish made primarily of root vegetables that would have kept over a long winter.  The soup itself is amazingly healthy as it is full of many immune system vitamins and minerals that the body needs to fight off infection (move over chicken soup, I have something better).  This is not a slapdash, quick and easy recipe, it's a labor of love taking time to be made right, but the end result is well worth the effort spent making it.  Your yield will be about 8qts of soup.  I froze half of mine for later and ate the other half now (and shared with friends).  Get organic ingredients as much as you can as the taste is well worth it.  I've tailored this ingredients list for shopping at The Fresh Market.

Ukrainian Borscht

2lbs Beef Short Ribs
3L Water
2tsp Real Salt (Redmond's)
1 Bunch Organic Carrots w/ tops
1 Celery Root
1 Small onion and 2 large onions
8-10 Whole Allspice berries
8 Whole Cloves
3lbs whole organic beets
2T unsalted Kerrygold Butter
1lb Organic Turnips
1 1/2lbs Organic Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes
1tsp pepper
2T Tomato Paste
8 Cloves Organic Garlic
1T Lemon Juice
Sour Cream
Organic Fresh Dill

Prepare your celery root by washing it then peeling off the skin.  Cut off a 1/2" thick round and set aside.  Wrap remaining root and place in fridge for later. Remove tops from carrots and set aside along with one whole carrot, scraped clean. Take your small onion, unpeeled and stud it with 8 whole cloves.  In 8qt Stockpot bring water, salt and beef to a simmering boil.  Strain off foam until it stops rising to the surface. Add your piece of celery root, clove onion, carrot, allspice berries and carrot tops to pot and simmer 2 hours until meat is very tender.  Remove meat taking out bones and chopping beef fine, strain broth (it will have reduced by 1/3) and set aside.  While meat is simmering, take your beets, scrub them and wrap individually in Aluminum Foil.  Place in 400 deg oven and roast 1 hour until beets are slightly tender.  Remove and let cool. To prep the rest of the ingredients, peel your turnip and 2-3 carrots, the rest of the celery root and dice.  Peel your cooled beets and grate on the large side of a box grater and set aside.  Take the pot the meat was cooked in rinse out and set back on med-high stove until dry then add butter.  Chop your 2 large onions into rough pieces and cook in pot 5 mins stirring often.  Add in diced turnip, carrots and celery root and cook 3 mins until soft.  Add reserved stock, shredded beets, beef, pepper, potatoes, garlic cloves and tomato paste and simmer on low heat until potatoes are cooked through.  Add lemon juice and taste, you want a balance of sweet and sour so add more lemon juice if necessary.  Turn off heat and serve with sour cream garnished with finely chopped dill.


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