Russian Borsch Stew Recipe

Borsch (russ.: борщ) is actually a traditional Ukrainian dish. But centuries ago this rich stew became one of the most popular dishes in Russia. It is also known as Russian red (or beet) soup and has different spellings: borscht, borsh, borsht, borcsh, borstch, etc.

  • 2 litre (= 8 cups) meat stock or water
  • 200 g (=7 oz) beef
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 200 g (=7 oz) cabbage
  • 150 g (=5 oz) potato
  • 200 g (=7 oz) beets
  • 100 g (=3.5 oz) carrot
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree (or 2 tomatoes)
  • 100 g (=3.5 oz) lard, bacon or butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (3%)
  • 100 g (=1/2 cup) sour cream
  • parsley and/or chives salt, pepper

  1. Meat stock (can be cooked in advance)
  2. Place meat in a pan and add cold water to cover the meat. Bring to boil, removing scam as it gathers. Pour the water away and clean off any scam. Place meat in the pan, fill it with boiling water and bring everything to slow boil. Add one whole onion and bay leaves and let it simmer in the covered pan on low heat for about 2 hours.
  3. Remove cooked onion and bay leaves. Strip meat off bones and finely chop it.
  4. Cut potatoes into thick chips. Shred the cabbage.
  5. Bring meat stock (or water) to boil, put in potatoes and cabbage and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Grate or cut carrots and beets into very thin stripes.
  7. Preheat a frying pan and add lard, bacon or butter. Add beets and sauté for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Add tomato puree (or chopped tomatoes), sugar and vinegar and cook for a couple of minutes. Add some water or meat stock if the mixture gets too dry.
  9. Add carrots. Sauté in the covered pan for another 10 minutes.
  10. Put sautéed vegetables into the pan with cabbage and potatoes.
  11. Add cooked meat and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve borsch with chopped fresh parsley or chives, sour cream (1-2 tbsp per portion) and a piece of brown bread.

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