I love beets. I could go on about how healthy they are - (they're the #1 best food you aren't eating, according to the NY Times), or how pretty they are (that deep burgundy hue is lovely!) - but that's not why I eat them. It's that subtle, sweet-tart taste that you can accentuate to your liking with a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon; that's what makes them amazing. Needless to say, borscht is one of my favorite soups. When the weather gets chilly, I take it as an excuse to make the hot version of Borscht ASAP. This isn't a traditional recipe, but it sure is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of beef chuck
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) of water
  • 1 tbs dry **parsley** (or 6 sprigs fresh)
  • 2 tsp dry dill weed
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3-5 medium-sized beets (~1lb), sliced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • fresh dill weed, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish

Directions

  1. Place beef, onion, water, dry herbs, salt, and pepper in a large, lidded pot and heat to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially covered, and cook until beef is tender. It should take about 2 hours.
  2. Transfer beef to a cutting board, allow it to cool, and chop into pieces. Cover and set aside.
  3. Add sliced beets and carrots to your beef broth. Simmer, covered, until your vegetables are tender - approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Stir beef back into the broth, and add the lemon and vinegar. Let it continue to simmer until fully heated!
  5. Serve topped with fresh dill and a dollop of sour cream!

Tips and Tricks Making borscht can be a rather lengthy process. You can decrease the amount of time required from start to finish by:

  1. Using a more tender cut of beef. Beef chuck is usually picked for its inexpensiveness, but it needs time to cook to become tender.
  2. Using pre-made broth (homemade or store bought) instead of water. Borscht is traditionally made with beef stock, but other types of broth work too (though borscht die-hards might cringe).
  3. Roasting your root vegetables ahead of time. It's actually more authentic to use roasted beets, carrots, and potatoes in your borscht. If you already have them around, it could shave time off too.
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