Friday, November 2, 2012
Honestly, I didn't become friends with beets until the past few years. As a kid, I couldn't stand them...as an adult, I love them. We were given a large bag of beets and for some reason I became determined that I must make borscht. Why? I'm not sure - other than the fact that I like to try cuisine from all over the world. I've never eaten borscht, but for some reason I felt like it was my duty to turn some of these beets into it. There seem to be numerous spellings of borscht and even more ways that you can make it. I read a bunch of different recipes, surveyed my fridge and freezer, and this is what I came up with. I must say that both my husband and I were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed it.
This recipe is a bit time consuming, but it's worth it to get the best flavored broth and to get a lot of the excess fat skimmed off the top. This photo is from right before we ate it, but, like pretty much any soup or stew, it gets better the next day. It's a nice meal for these cold and rainy days we are having and it will easily serve four to six people.
1 pat butter
about 1 lb beef short ribs, preferably from grass-fed pastured cows
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth
3 cups water
4 medium-large beets, peeled and finely diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and finely diced
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (more to taste)
sour cream, for serving
fresh minced dill, for serving
In a heavy bottom soup pot, warm the butter. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place them in the hot pot and let cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the beef stock and water. Stir well. Bring to a low boil, cover, and cook until the beef is cooked through and begins to fall off the bone, about 45 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
Skim the excess fat off the top of the liquid. Remove the short ribs and set aside on a cutting board. Warm the broth over medium heat. When hot, add the beets and potato. Let simmer until they are softened. In the meantime, remove the meat from the short ribs and shred it (discard the bones, fat, etc.). Add the cabbage to the pot along with the shredded beef. Stir and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill.
What was I cooking one year ago?: apple-stuffed acorn squash
Two years ago?: maple roasted turnips