Check me out on The Food Network’s ‘One Last Bite’! If I have to pick one dish for my very last meal, I’d dine on my mother’s delicious Borscht Soup. I was born in Belarus, and my family brought the traditions and tastes of home with us when we moved to Brooklyn. My mother is an incredible cook and some of my most vivid childhood memories are of her lovingly brewing a hearty Borscht Soup. The process takes hours and heaps of ingredients, but the final result is so worth it. Borscht feels comfortable and warm and one last bite before I died would whisk me right back home.
Check out the video, then follow the recipe below for a fabulous explosion of borscht, Belarus style. Beets, beef, and cabbage never tasted so stylish!
8 beef short ribs
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 medium leek, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
12 whole black peppercorns
2 ½ quarts water
6 medium red beets, reserve beet tops (If you mind your hands turning red from beet juice, you may want to don plastic gloves)
1 carrot, shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs. of tomatoes, seeded & chopped
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar (I like a vinegar taste, you might want to add a touch more)
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
1. Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot on a medium high heat. Add the canola oil, heat and add the beef ribs. Sear the ribs until well brown to create flavour. Stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, bay leaf, peppercorns and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, skimming.
2. Meanwhile, place unpeeled beets in a separate saucepan, cover with water, and cook over medium heat until soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and medium dice or shred.
3. Strain beef mixture, reserving broth and ribs and discarding vegetables.
4. Return broth to the pot and add beets, carrot, onion, tomatoes, vinegar and shredded cabbage. Remove the meat off of the ribs and cut into bite-size pieces. Cook until flavors meld, about 20 minutes more. Chop the beet tops and add to the Borscht, cook for another 10 minutes (beet tops tender). Season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve in bowls garnished with minced dill and a dollop of sour cream.