Steven J. Blondo, e-mail message to Michael Miller.
Being the lone (I believe) culinary student on the list, I thought I would share the recipe we used in class. I have to agree that I am not fond of beets, and think they taste like dirt. However, I continue to try them cooked in different fashions in the hopes that one time I will enjoy them. Trivia for the Day: Borscht is in a group of soups known in classical cooking as "national soups". Anyways, on with the recipe:
Yield: 6 quarts
Portion Size: 8 oz.
2 lb Beef Brisket or Shank (any leftover beef may be used.
3 1/2 quart water or beef stock (stock of course adds flavors you can't get with water or boulion, but we use what we have)
4 oz butter
8 oz onion, sliced thin
8 oz leeks (white part only, and about 1/2 inch of green), cut julienne (you can increase the amount of onions if leeks are unavailable, but leeks are really tasty)
8 oz cabbage, shredded
2 cans (about 60 ounces) Beets (or Fresh, Raw Beets -- in which case you want to shred or grate them and sweat with the onions, these take FOREVER to cook, so low heat, and let them simmer/sweat - also, to avoid beet juice staining your hands a beautiful North Pole Red for the holidays, wear rubber gloves)
4 oz tomato puree
4 oz vinegar (red wine preferred)
2 TB sugar
To Taste Salt
To Taste White Pepper
Sour Cream as needed
1. Simmer the beef in the water or stock until tender.
2. Remove the cooked beef from the broth and cut it into small dice.
3. Measure the broth and, if necessary, add water to bring it back up to 3
qt (3 L).
4. Return the meat to the broth,
5. Heat the butter in a heavy pot. Add the onion, leeks, and the cabbage. Cook slowly in the butter for about 5 minutes.
6. Drain the beets and save the juice. Grate the beets on a coarse grater, or chop them fine.
7. Add the mixture of onions, leeks, and cabbage, the beets, beet juice, tomato purée, vinegar, and sugar to the meat and broth.
8. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
9. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, and more vinegar if desired.
10. Serve each portion topped with a spoonful of sour cream.
Okay, so Borscht is actually not that bad, and this recipe is pretty good, you can scale it to whatever size you wish as 6 quarts would probably get you to somewhere around June 1st, (which coincidently is when the snow starts to melt here in Minnesota and people start thinking about planting next years beet crop).