January is one of the coldest months in Ukraine so this particular borscht is very popular in winter. It’s rich in flavor, thick and hearty, which makes it a perfect soup for cold snowy days. What’s interesting about this borscht is that you don’t need potatoes for this recipe.

Start with washing dried porcini mushrooms under cold running water. Place them in a pot, add 1 yellow onion cut in halves and cover with water. Cook on low for 2 hours and add salt 30 minutes before the broth is done. Strain the broth through a fine mesh, wash mushrooms again and cut them into thin strips. Return the broth into a pot.

Wash beef under running water and place into a pot with boiling water. Cover with a lid and quickly bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low so the broth is slightly boiling. Remove any foam that might appear on the surface. When you remove all the foam, add salt and leave to cook for 2 hours. When the meat is ready, take it out of the broth, place in a container and cover with a lid. Strain the broth and save it for another soup.

Heat some bacon fat on a skillet and add the beets cut into strips. Sprinkle with salt and white vinegar and mix well. Then pour about a ½ cup of mushroom broth, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then add tomato puree and stew that for 15 minutes.

Cut carrots, parsley root and onion into thin strips and cook on a skillet with bacon fact for 10-15 minutes.

Fry all purpose flour on a dry skillet, stirring constantly, until it becomes light golden in color. Remove from heat, cool it down, add 4 tablespoons of mushroom broth, mix really well and strain.

Mince fresh garlic and cut cured pork fat into little pieces. Add salt and chopped parsley, place everything into a mortar and grind until well combined.

Bring mushroom broth back to a boil, add shredded cabbage and cook for 10 minutes. Add green bell pepper cut into strips, boiled mushrooms, stewed beets, fried vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt to taste. Cook for another 8 minutes. Then add minced cured pork fat mixture and fried flour, turn the heat off, cover with a lid and and let the borscht stand 20 minutes before serving.

When serving the borscht, add bite sized pieces of beef and sour cream to bowls.

For broth:   

  • Water – 10 cups
  • Dried porcini mushrooms – 2 oz
  • 1 yellow onion
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

To boil meat:

  • Water – 4 cups
  • Lean beef – 12 oz
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

For borscht:      

  • Beets – 12 oz
  • Fresh green cabbage – 12 oz
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Tomato puree – 2 tablespoons
  • Bacon fat – 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Cured pork fat – 1 oz
  • All purpose flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:        

  • Sour cream


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