This week we got beets from the CSA. They're still small but already perfect for borscht! These ones have light-colored insides, so they're better for beef borscht (rather than the all-veggie cold borscht, which I prefer to be magenta).
First I made beef broth from scratch. I think this step really makes the soup, but obviously it's more convenient to use canned or crystalized. I roasted oxtails and boiled them with the usual: 2 bay leaves, 4 whole cloves, 1/2 bunch parsley, carrots, celery, and onions.
Meanwhile, I boiled the beets in one pot, and peeled potatoes in another pot (add a lot of salt to the potatoes). Drain each when cooked. The potatoes will be sliced into the soup at the very end. Once the beets are tender and cooled, slip their skins off (I think this step is the most fun part) and slice (or grate) into thin shreds. Pretty, huh?
Next you need to prepare the other vegetables--2 carrots, one large onion, and 1/2 of a small cabbage (green or red). These will all be made very fine. Chop the onion finely, slice the cabbage into fine shreds, and grate two carrots. Saute all veggies until in oil soft and slightly caramelized.
In your soup pot, heat up 2 Tbsp of oil or schmaltz until quite hot. Dredge in flour and black pepper one pound of stew beef cut into cubes, and then brown in the oil. Add 6 cups of beef broth to the soup pot, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 30 min. And the sauteed veggies to the soup and simmer 30 more min.
Before serving, add the shredded beets and adjust the flavors by adding: 2 Tbsp. pickle juice or vinegar, juice of one lemon, 2 tsp. dill (fresh or dried), plenty of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar if needed. Slice the boiled potatoes into your serving bowls and pour soup over them.
I served the borscht with sliced pickled turnips and summer squash with garlic and fresh basil:
Ok so where are your recipes?! Mom, maybe you should post your pancake recipe here once and for all! You don't have to put photos up here if you don't want to. I'm just putting them up for the heck of it. I hope you are all doing well.