Friday, July 11, 2014

Not Your Grandmother's Borscht

My nationally is Native American, but I was adopted and raised by a wonderful Jewish family. My Mothers side of the family is originally from Austria and my Fathers side of the family is originally from Russia. I guess, you could say that Borscht runs deep in out veins.

I remember that my Meema always had a bottle of borscht in the pantry for emergencies, she would say. Traditionally borscht is a hearty peasant-style stew with chunks of beets, cabbage, and quite possibly some meat. Here I offer a more refined but equally comforting take on this Russian classic. Colorful grated beets and cabbage in a light vegetable stock are topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL 
  • 1 MEDIUM ONION, CHOPPED
  • 1 CLOVE GARLIC, GRATED OR PRESSED 
  • 1/2 TEASPOON GROUND ALLSPICE
  • 1 CAN {14 1/2 OUNCES} DICED TOMATOES
  • 1 POUND BEETS
  • 6 CUPS SLICED GREEN CABBAGE {1 POUND}
  • 3 LARGE CARROTS, PEELED AND CUT INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
  • 4 CUPS WATER
  • 2 CUPS HOMEMADE VEGETABLE STOCK
  • 1 BAY LEAF
  • 3/4 TEASPOONS SALT
  • 2 TABLESPOONS RED WINE VINEGAR
  • 1/4 CUP LOOSELY PACKED FRESH DILL, CHOPPED
  • SOUR CREAM FOR GARNISH

Directions:

  1. In a 6-quart saucepot, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook 8 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in garlic and allspice; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cut off the tops then peel beets { See Tip } and shred them in a food processor { or on the coarse side of a grater }.
  4. Into the saucepot with onion mixture, stir shredded beets, cabbage, carrots, water, stock, bay leaf, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
  6. Remove bay leaf. Stir in vinegar and dill.
  7. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

TIP: Wear rubber gloves while peeling beets for easier cleanup. 

ACTIVE TIME: 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR
MAKES: 5 MAIN-DISH SERVINGS