For the Friendship Dinner we make about 48 quarts of this meaty borsch. This recipe makes about 12 – 2 cup portions or 6 quarts. Borsch is an eastern European favorite and many people at the Friendship Dinner want to take some home. Our borsch is adapted from “Please to the Table: the Russian Cookbook” by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman. ENJOY – Patty Levenberg
Ingredients for the stock
(can be made a day or two before and refrigerated):
- 1 ½ pounds beef chuck, shank, or flank
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 2 beef marrow bones (about 1 pound)
- 3 quarts water
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 2 medium size parsnips, peeled
- 1 stalk celery
- Bouquet garni (3 dill sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs, 4 bay leaves, and 10 black peppercorns tied in a cheesecloth bag)
- Salt, to taste
- In a large soup pot bring the meat bones and water to a boil over high heat, periodically skimming off the foam as it rises to the top.
- Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered until the meat is tender, at least 45 minutes.
- When the stock is ready remove the beef and the ham bone and reserve it for the soup. Strain the rest through a fine sieve into a clean pot and discard all the solids.
- Refrigerate the stock at this point or proceed with the soup.
Ingredients for the soup
- 2 large beets (about 1 ¼ pound)
- 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 can (16 ounces) plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup oil (sunflower oil preferably)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into Julienne
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 pitted prunes, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus additional for garnish
- Sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375o.
- Wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, about 1 ¼ hours.
- Bring the stock to a boil. Add the potatoes and tomatoes, and season with salt.
- While the potatoes and tomatoes are cooking heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and green pepper, and sauté over medium heat until the onion and green pepper are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and continue to sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is softened, 10 minutes more. Add the vegetables to the soup.
- Peel the beets and cut into julienne or fine dice. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add them to the soup. Stir the soup and simmer, uncovered for another 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and prunes. Season with pepper and salt to taste.
- Cut the beef into bitesize pieces and scrape all the meat off the ham bone. Add both meats to the soup.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic and 3 tablespoons each parsley and dill. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve garnished with additional chopped fresh herbs and sour cream.