On this very cold and rainy day, I just couldn’t help to post a recipe for the famous Russian Borsh – one of the most traditional foods in Russian cuisine. Borsh is essentially a soup made of various vegetables cooked in beef broth (sometimes chicken) made from scratch. But the main ingredient is cabbage.
Borsh is a permanent food item in any Russian fridge. Russians eat Borsh not only in winter but all year round. You can eat Borsh the way it is or add sour cream or mayo for even better taste. Personally, I love mine with some mayo. Here is the rest of the recipe…
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 steak (or any piece of beef with bone and meat)
- 1/2 head of small cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 1 red pepper
- 4 medium potatoes
- tomato sauce
Fill a medium pot with water leaving 2 inches from the top and place the beef inside after washing it well. Turn on high heat and wait for the water to boil. Watch the pot carefully as the foam will gather and will try to over-spill. When the water boils, remove the foam with a large spoon and reduce the heat enough (medium to low), so that the water is still bubbling. Add 1/2 onion into the pot + 1/2 tbsp of salt + 1 tsp pepper. (Later you can add more salt after you taste the broth and see if you need more salt). Boil for one hour.
After one hour, test the beef with a knife. If the knife goes in easily, then the beef is done. You can also try to cut a small piece and see if it’s chewable. If not, boil for another 20 minutes. While the broth is still in progress, start preparing your vegetables. Shred the cabbage with a knife cutting into it to make medium strands. When the broth is done, remove the onion and the beef from the pot. Separate the meat from the bone, cut into small pieces and set aside. Place the cabbage in the pot and let it boil for 10 minutes. While that’s boiling, cut the carrots and the pepper into small pieces or half-moons and then place them in the pot. Boil for another 10 minutes. Cut the potatoes into chunks and add them to the pot. Boil for 10 minutes. At some point, taste the broth and see if it has enough salt to your taste. Meanwhile, set the skillet on medium heat and saute the rest of the onion after cutting it into small chunks. After the onion is golden brown, add 1/3 cup tomato sauce, cook for 5 minutes and then add the onion mixture to the pot. Finally, add the beef (which you have prepared earlier) back into the pot and finish with some dill and parsley. Let everything boil for 5 more minutes. Let the Borsh stand for 30 minutes, so that all the flavors will come together, and then serve!
If you like cooking with cabbage, also check out Pasta with Fried Cabbage and Brats.