Hearty Rustic Beef Borscht

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I have to admit that I was hesitant to create a borscht recipe. First of all, it’s a classic and there are so many great versions out there. But I really wanted to give it a try and incorporate some of the cooking techniques I felt would give it that something extra.

To start, my family had an aversion to beets. I blame it on the girls’ elementary school that made beetroot brownies once a week for dessert. They would come home moaning about why anyone would go and mess up a perfectly tasty treat by putting a beet in it. But after the first bite they were convinced that not all beets were evil.

It is my hope that this tasty Ukrainian Borscht will exceed all of your expectations. From the chunky beef and rustic root vegetables to those roasted beets, this stew provides the perfect balance of warm and tangy. It truly is a masterpiece in a bowl!

Yield: Serves 6

Beef Borscht

Beef Borscht

Nothing is better on a cold winter evening than a warm bowl of hearty stew served with freshly baked artesan bread. This tasty Ukrainian Borscht, originating in the Kyevan region, will exceed all of your expectations. Chunky beef, rustic root vegetables and roasted beets provide the perfect balance to the tartness of this masterpiece in a bowl!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb stew beef, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups beef broth, divided
  • 2 beets, peeled, grated
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste

Garnish

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the stew beef, and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. You may need to work in batches so as not to overcrowd the meat.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for an additional 5 minutes or until tender.
  4. Pour 4 cups of beef broth over the beef and onions in the pot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  6. While the beef is cooking, peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, set aside.
  7. Peel and grate the beets, spread them out in a single layer on a foil lined roasting pan. Roast in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes stirring halfway through.
  8. Once beef is tender add the remaining broth, all the vegetables, and the fresh dill. Bring to a simmer, and cook for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Add the vinegar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To Serve

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.

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