Monday, October 11, 2010

Fabulous Borscht

I have never been a fan of borscht....until now. 

Recipe given to me by my wonderful pioneer woman neighbor. It uses many things from the northern climate's garden and any game meat you might be fortunate enough to have. It is extremely versatile and very simple to prepare, it does not require very many ingredients to make it delicious. It's perfect on any given Sunday in October. Invite your closest friends and make a double or triple batch...I promise you, your guests will be more than impressed. This is my go-to recipe this time of year.

Fabulous Borscht

2 lbs beef shanks, or chunk beef, or sausage, or hamburger browned in lard, bacon fat. (Could also use butter, coconut oil or olive oil.)
1-2 leeks or onions chunked - add to beef
1 c ham, or pork shoulder, or ham hock, or bacon, or kielbasa - add
~3 carrots - add
2 lbs(ish) beets peeled chunked - add if uncooked...if cooked or canned add later (can use homemade pickled beets if need be, that's what I typically use)
new potatoes or chunked potatoes, optional
~2 1/2 qts water
2 bay leaves
8 pepper corn
4 sprigs parsley or dried ~1T
1/4 t pepper
1T salt (adjust to liking)
1/4 c white vinegar
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/4 c fresh dill or some dried
1 small head cabbage
1 c sour cream

Garnish with:
fresh dill
more sour cream

Add ingredients in approximate order as listed. This recipe is so flexible, add more or less vegetables as listed, you will never know the difference.  We have friends who don't eat pork so when they're here I add other things, yesterday was turkey kielbasa and some turkey smoked sausage and that added some great flavor. I have also added leftover chicken, left over spaghetti sauce, leftover pieces of steak from kids plates when their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. I actually keep a "For Borscht" quart size bag in the freezer with bits and pieces of good meat that I don't want to throw to the dog. 

This is a great recipe to make soon after harvest in a very large pot. If you have leftovers it's perfect for freezing or eating the next day. (Like any good stew or soup, it's better the next day.)

Yesterday I tripled the batch in my large stock pot and it fed 8 adults and 11 children, most people had 2 bowls and I have two good sized containers of left overs in the fridge. 

I shamelessly stole this gorgeous photo from Food & Wine where they have their own recipe.


Laurie Constantino said...

Mmm. I do love borscht, and you're so right about its flexibility. And how perfect it is for our climate.Once I was out of tomato paste/sauce/tomatoes, so I used ketchup instead and left out the vinegar. It was so good, now I always do it that way. Never tried sausage though I will now - that's a great idea!

AKmamaOf6 said...

Katchup! I love that!!! I usually have that and have run out of tomato paste before... I love this so much. We ate leftovers from last week today along with a couple of jars I had frozen previously from a differnt batch. My brother-in-law loves this and I'm in trouble if I don't have them over when I make it.