Ukrainian dishes often use a number of ingredients. Borscht is a direct proof of this. Initially, this dish was made of 30 ingredients but, of course, over time that number has decreased. However, the technique remains unchanged. Beef is placed in cold water to make a meat broth. Then the meat is taken out and other ingredients are added and cooked in a closed saucepan. Garlic fritters are given instead of bread and called pampushki by locals. Traditionally, every Ukrainian girl learns how to cook borscht before getting married.
2 lbs stew beef
1 lb beef bones (marrow bones) optional
2.5 quarts water
2 large bay leaves
1 tbsp coriander
1/2 tbsp whole peppercorns
3 medium beets about 1.5 lbs
1 medium yellow onion
2 medium carrots
1 head of cabbage
2 medium Idaho potatoes
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 tbsp fresh dill weed minced
Fresh minced dill weed
Preheat the pot over medium-high heat. Add a little bit of canola oil.
Cut big, hard chunks of fat off beef, if any. Add beef and bones to the pot and seat for a couple of minutes.
Add water to the pot and bring it to simmer.
Add bay leaves, coriander, and whole peppercorns. Lower the heat to low.
Loosely cover with a lid (so that there is a good amount of room for steam to escape) and cook for 2-4 hours.
About half way through of cooking meat, add whole, unpeeled beets to the pot. Cook until done, take out and set aside.
Strain off the stock and discard bones, bay leaves, coriander, and peppercorns. Set meat and beef aside.
Prepare your veggies: slice onions, mushrooms, and cabbage thinly. Grate carrots on a large grater, and cube potatoes. Peel garlic and set aside. Set whole cooked beets aside to cool.
Using the same pot, set the heat to medium and add a couple of tablespoons of canola oil to the pot.
Add onions and carrots and saute until softened. Smash garlic, mince and add to the pot. Stir well.
Add potatoes and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cabbage, stir and cook until cabbage softens.
Add tomato paste, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir well until tomato paste is evenly mixed.
Break apart beef and add it to the pot. Stir and start adding stock. Add enough stock to completely cover the veggies. (You can add more if you want more broth.)
Cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste to make sure you have enough salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
Stir in dill weed.
Peel beets and grate them into the soup on a large cheese grater. Stir and your soup is ready to eat!
Garnish with some sour cream and fresh dill weed.