Beef borscht

26 Oct

Beef borscht

My mother’s borscht was a vegetarian, austere affair. It was “cheap as chips” as the British say and the recipe made gallons. In my student days, I could live on a pot of borscht for a week.

This beef version is a richer, rib-sticking affair, more akin to goulash. Unlike mum’s borscht, in which vinegar plays a significant role, beef and beet borscht gets its sharpness from a splash of lemon juice added right at the end.

Beef borscht
(serves 4)

  • 2 Tb sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500g stewing beef, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 450g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups white cabbage, cut finely crosswise
  • juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • sour cream and fresh dill, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Add the onion and sauté until softened.
  2. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add the garlic and chopped tomatoes and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Pour in the beef stock and increase the heat until it comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the meat is tender.
  6. Increase the heat to medium, and add the beets, carrots and potatoes. Cook for about ten minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  7. Add the cabbage and cook for fifteen minutes more.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and set aside for fifteen minutes.
  9. Adjust the seasoning then serve, garnished with sour cream and fresh dill.

2 Responses to “Beef borscht”

  1. Yana November 8, 2019 at 11:55 am #

    …and it only gets better with time 🙂

    • Andrea November 8, 2019 at 1:11 pm #


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