Beef based broth, stewed aromatic vegetables and and sour cream. What can be better on a cold winter day than this savory and full flavored red borscht? Only this borscht with bacon toasts.

Place brisket in a pot with very hot but not yet boiling water. Then add unpeeled onion, roughly cut celery stalks and peppercorns. Remove foam as soon as water starts boiling, then add whole peeled carrots, bay leaves and let it cook on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours.

Heat some oil on a skillet and add the onion cut in half circles. Fry on the skillet until the onion turns translucent. Then add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, mix well and immediately add beets cut into strips and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Then add 1 ladle of the broth and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, turn the heat down to low and stew for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After that, add freshly ground black pepper, fresh minced garlic and leave to stew for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the cabbage nicely and add it to the skillet. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more broth, if needed.

When beef is done cooking, take it out, cut into bite sized pieces and return into the broth. Take vegetables and bay leaves out as well and throw them away. Then add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree to the broth, salt to taste, add cubed potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.

Add stewed vegetables to the pot with boiling broth, then add one more tablespoon of white vinegar, sugar, very finely cut jalapeno pepper, bring once more to a boil and remove from heat. Let the borscht stand for at least 30 minutes before serving.

When serving the borscht, add sour cream and chopped parsley to bowls. Serve with cured pork fat and fresh onion broken in pieces on the side.   

You will need

For borscht:       

  • Water – 8 cups
  • Beef brisket – 15 oz
  • Beets – 14 oz
  • Fresh green cabbage – 7 oz
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • Tomato puree – 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • White vinegar – 2 tablespoons
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:      

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • Cured pork fat
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Bacon toasts

How to make bacon toasts

Cut rye bread into slices. Heat some butter on the skillet and fry them on one side. Take the bread out of the skillet to cool down. Meanwhile, cut the onion into half circles and shred the cheese, if needed. Place the onion on the fried side of the bread, add a piece of bacon on top, cover with cheese and place the toasts back onto the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook the toast on low heat until the cheese starts to melt.

You will need:

  • 8 pieces of rye bread
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 8 pieces of cooked bacon
  • Shredded parmesan or smoked gouda cheese


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