Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ukrainian Borscht

Beets were a staple in my house growing up. We literally ate them with dinner every night. Being force fed a particular food so often as a child will usually lead to either loving it or hating it as an adult. Thankfully, I love beets. I mean, not only are they my favorite vegetable, they are at the top of my favorite foods list. Beets were also a staple in my boyfriend's house growing up and he also loves them. It just so happens beets are in prime season at the moment so naturally the next recipe from the book had to be Borscht.

People always say we eat with our eyes first. I cannot think of a more brilliant way to entice your senses than cooking with beets. I really don't understand how someone could not love beets. Amazing color aside, they are so fantastically sweet and don't even get me started on their nutritional benefits. I've made borscht in the past and it was good. I kind of mashed a bunch of recipes together in the hopes that I could make it somewhat authentic tasting. Let me tell you, a true authentic borscht recipe is hard to find online, there are so many variations. This recipe is so delicious and is an authentic Ukrainian borscht. My boyfriend said it tastes exactly like his Ome's so, once again, that's good enough for me.

1 lb spareribs
2 medium beets, diced into 1" cubes
1 cup tomatoes or tomato juice
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 head small cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBSP freshly chopped dill

Wash spareribs and cut into small pieces. Place in saucepan and cover with about 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until spareribs can be separated with a fork. Skim the scum off of the top of the water frequently. When spareribs are very tender, remove from pot and let cool. Meanwhile saute the onions on low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the beets, tomatoes, sauteed onion, cabbage, potato, bay leaf and lemon juice to the water that the spareribs were simmering in and bring to a boil. Shred the sparerib meat into chunks with two forks and add to the pot. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until beets and potatoes are tender, You may need to add more water as necessary. Noting that traditional Borscht is a soup, not a stew. When the vegetables are tender, remove the bay leaf, add the dill, remove from heat and serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream.


Olga said...

I'm Russian, so love borsht. My dad makes the best one ever :) and usually without any meat. Sometimes we go for mayo instead of sourcream.

~Madeline~ said...

Hi Olga,

I've never thought of mayo, sounds very interesting.

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