Perfect Ukrainian Borscht

A perfect, rich and savory Ukrainian borscht. Served with sour cream, brisket and chopped dill it’s the epitome of the hearty and flavorful beet soup.

Soak the beans in the cold water for 5-8 hours. Drain the water, place soaked beans into the pot, add fresh water and boil for 1 hour on very low heat. Add salt 10 minutes before the beans are ready. Drain all the liquid.

Place beef bones into a pot, cover with water and beetroot juice and slowly bring to a boil. Remove any foam that starts appearing, then add beef brisket, bring to a boil again and remove any foam that’s left. Cook on low heat for 2 hours.

Take the meat out, cool it and cut into bite sized pieces. Keep cooking the bones for another 2 hours. Add salt 30 minutes before the broth is done. Strain the broth to get rid of all bits and pieces.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, make a little X-shaped cut on top of them and place into very hot water for 30 seconds. Peel the skin off, cut the tomatoes into 2 pieces, place them in a pot, add a little water, cover and stew for 5-7 minutes. Take tomatoes out and puree with a blender.

Peel the beets and cut into thin strips. Sprinkle with white vinegar and then fry on a skillet with some bacon fat for 10 minutes. Then add ½ cup of broth, sugar, cover with a lid and stew for about 40 minutes.

Cut your carrots, parsley root and onion into thin strips and fry these vegetables with bacon fat on a skillet until the onion turns translucent. Then add tomato puree or pureed tomatoes and stew everything on low heat for 10 minutes. Then add cooked beets and cook for another 15 minutes.

Mince fresh garlic, cut cured pork fat into small pieces and grind everything in a mortar until it becomes a paste.

Peel the apples, remove the seeds and cut into small pieces.

If you are using eggplants, peel them and cut into cubes. If you are using zucchinis, then peel them, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.

Bring the broth back to a boil, add cubed potatoes, bring to a boil again, add shredded green cabbage, eggplants or zucchinis, cubed green bell pepper, apples, cooked beans and cook for 15 minutes. Then add stewed vegetables, cured pork fat paste, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt to taste and cook for another 15 minutes. Cover with a lid, remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

When you serve the borscht, place meat pieces into the bowls, ladle the borscht, add sour cream and chopped dill. Serve fresh jalapeno peppers cut lengthwise with seeds removed.

For broth:   

  • Water – 6 cups
  • Beet brew – 7 cups
  • Beef brisket – 12 oz
  • Beef bones – 17 oz
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons

For borscht:       

  • Beets – 7 oz
  • Fresh green cabbage – 8 oz
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ½ eggplant OR   
    ½ zucchini
  • 1 small apple
  • Beans – ⅓ cup
  • Tomato puree – 4 tablespoons OR
    4 tomatoes
  • Bacon fat – 2 tablespoons
  • Cured pork fat – 1 oz
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:        

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped dill
  • 2 jalapeno peppers

How to make beet brew

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