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Borshch Ukra誰nsky

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 January 2012 at 09:55

Borshch Ukra誰nsky
Ukraine-Style Beet Soup

A brief introduction from Wikipedia provides excellent background information on this most typical and rustic example of Ukrainian foods (also spelled borscht):

Quote Borshch (Ukrainian: 弍仂) is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries.... It is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color....

The soup began its existence from trimmings of cellared vegetables consumed throughout the winter months. Most families had a container, usually a kettle or stove pot, kept outside to store those trimmings. Around the first spring thaw, that pot was placed on the fire and cooked into a soup-like meal. One of the primary vegetables of the Slavic diet consumed during the winter months was beets. Hence, the recipe changed into what is traditionally known as a beet soup.... The soup is a staple part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations.

The two main variants of borscht are generally referred to as hot and cold. Both are based on beets, but are otherwise prepared and served differently.... Hot borscht, the kind most popular in the majority of cultures, is a hearty soup. It is almost always made with a broth made of beets. It usually contains heavy starchy vegetables including potatoes and beets, but may also contain carrots, spinach, and meat. It may be eaten as a meal in itself, but is usually eaten as an appetizer with thick, dark bread.

Culinaria Russia also fills in some of the colours to complete this picture:
 
Quote In Ukraine you just have to pose the question about the original borscht recipe and the conversations become heated. There are as many answers as there are housewives because each of them has her own recipe. However, there is one thing that they all have in common: the indignation at the fact that, abroad, borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine. The hearty stew is as Ukrainian and as old as as the Kiev Rus Empire itself. It takes the name from the old Slavic word "BRSH" for beet.

The borscht ingredients vary according to the seasonal vegetables on offer. In the spring beet leaves and sorrel are available, in the summer carrots, green beans, and tomatoes, for example, in the autumn and winter mushrooms, cabbage, and root vegetables.

The rule for all borschts is that the beets should be cooked separately from the other vegetables. For everyday purposes housewives usually use well marbled pork. For celebratory occasionsthe borscht is often prepared with several types of meat and poultry.

Once cooked, every borscht should be left to stand for at least 40 minutes, better still overnight.

This is perfect, wonderful wintertime food, best simmered long and slow and served with hot, buttered, crusty bread. Some of the listed "root vegetables" in the recipe below may be difficult to find in some areas, but you can substitute with carrots, celery or turnips.

From Time/Life's Foods of the World - Russian Cooking, 1969:

Quote To serve 6 to 8:

4 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely-chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound beets, trimmed of leaves and coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 celery root, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 parsley root, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 quarts beef stock or broth, fresh or canned
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-inch chunks
1 pound cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded
1 pound boiled brisket or 1 pound boiled ham, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 pint sour cream

Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds. Run them under cold water and peel them. Cut out the stem, then slice them in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves gently to remove the juices and seeds then chop them coarsely and set aside. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet or casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly coloured. Stir in the beets, celery root, parsley root, parsnip, half the tomatoes, the sugar, vinegar, salt and 1.5 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, partially cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining stock into a 6- to 8-quart casserole and add the potatoes and cabbage. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered for 20 minus, or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. When the vegetable mixture has cooked its allotted time, add it to the casserole with the remaining tomatoes and the meat. Simmer partially covered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the borshch is heated. Taste for seasoning. Pour into a tureen, sprinkle with parsley and serve accompanied by sour cream.

This is one that I certainly intend to try before the winter is out. We're currently going through one of our periodic "chinook winds" that sweep the area during the winter, and this weekend might be perfect opportunity....
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comments and suggestions from a member of another forum:
 
Quote Good to see this......I grew up in central Canada, where this and variations thereof were common fare.
 
A couple of suggestions.....saute' the finely-cut cabbage* in a little oil to "limpness" before adding to soup. And don't throw away the beet leaves. Add them (cut up with stems) to the soup. They are good and nutritious.

*smaller pieces cabbage fit better in spoon
 
they sound like great suggestions that surely will add some character and authenticity to this dish, and i should be able to incorporate them when i try this - i'm thinking of trying it with country style pork and/or beef ribs, browning them a bit to get a sear ont hem and add some good flavour, which works well in other dishes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlieD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2012 at 13:57
If this: " ... borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine ..." -  was only one statment on this entire board that I had to comment on, I would regester to become a member just to make that comment. If there is a one single thing people agree about borscht in Ukraine it is the fact that IT IS NOT atributed to Russian cuisine. Boirscht is thru and thru typical for Ukranian style of cooking.
Few, there I sad it. I actually kind of like the recipe above, if only it did not have vinegar or sugar, which are really a big no-no when making real Ukranian borscht. Thank you for the post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2012 at 14:03
hi, charlie, and welcome to the FotW forum!

thank you for your comments. it sounds to me like you know your ukranian cuisine! we're eager to learn here, and looking forward to seeing what else you can teach us. hopefully, we can share a few things with you as well.

feel free to look around and post up on any conversation, or start a new one of your own. if you have any food memories, histories or recipes, we'd like love to hear about them ~ and if you have pictures, even better ~

enjoy ~

ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlieD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2012 at 14:20
Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 19:00
Originally posted by CharlieD CharlieD wrote:

If this: " ... borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine ..." -  was only one statment on this entire board that I had to comment on, I would regester to become a member just to make that comment. If there is a one single thing people agree about borscht in Ukraine it is the fact that IT IS NOT atributed to Russian cuisine. Boirscht is thru and thru typical for Ukranian style of cooking.
Few, there I sad it. I actually kind of like the recipe above, if only it did not have vinegar or sugar, which are really a big no-no when making real Ukranian borscht. Thank you for the post.
Hi Charlie. I have to comment. Your first statement was taken completely out of context. You quoted; "... borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine..."

The complete quote was " However, there is one thing that they all have in common: the indignation at the fact that, abroad, borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine. The hearty stew is as Ukrainian and as old as as the Kiev Rus Empire itself."

If you look at the complete statement, it fully agrees with your point of view.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlieD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 19:34
Thank you
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In Romania we love borscht cold or hot with or without potatoes but we love it with  sour cream. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 December 2013 at 00:49
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Borshch Ukra誰nsky
Ukraine-Style Beet Soup

A brief introduction from Wikipedia provides excellent background information on this most typical and rustic example of Ukrainian foods (also spelled borscht):

Quote Borshch (Ukrainian: 弍仂) is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries.... It is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color....

The soup began its existence from trimmings of cellared vegetables consumed throughout the winter months. Most families had a container, usually a kettle or stove pot, kept outside to store those trimmings. Around the first spring thaw, that pot was placed on the fire and cooked into a soup-like meal. One of the primary vegetables of the Slavic diet consumed during the winter months was beets. Hence, the recipe changed into what is traditionally known as a beet soup.... The soup is a staple part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations.

The two main variants of borscht are generally referred to as hot and cold. Both are based on beets, but are otherwise prepared and served differently.... Hot borscht, the kind most popular in the majority of cultures, is a hearty soup. It is almost always made with a broth made of beets. It usually contains heavy starchy vegetables including potatoes and beets, but may also contain carrots, spinach, and meat. It may be eaten as a meal in itself, but is usually eaten as an appetizer with thick, dark bread.

Culinaria Russia also fills in some of the colours to complete this picture:
 
Quote In Ukraine you just have to pose the question about the original borscht recipe and the conversations become heated. There are as many answers as there are housewives because each of them has her own recipe. However, there is one thing that they all have in common: the indignation at the fact that, abroad, borscht is attributed to Russian cuisine. The hearty stew is as Ukrainian and as old as as the Kiev Rus Empire itself. It takes the name from the old Slavic word "BRSH" for beet.

The borscht ingredients vary according to the seasonal vegetables on offer. In the spring beet leaves and sorrel are available, in the summer carrots, green beans, and tomatoes, for example, in the autumn and winter mushrooms, cabbage, and root vegetables.

The rule for all borschts is that the beets should be cooked separately from the other vegetables. For everyday purposes housewives usually use well marbled pork. For celebratory occasionsthe borscht is often prepared with several types of meat and poultry.

Once cooked, every borscht should be left to stand for at least 40 minutes, better still overnight.

This is perfect, wonderful wintertime food, best simmered long and slow and served with hot, buttered, crusty bread. Some of the listed "root vegetables" in the recipe below may be difficult to find in some areas, but you can substitute with carrots, celery or turnips.

From Time/Life's Foods of the World - Russian Cooking, 1969:

Quote To serve 6 to 8:

4 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely-chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound beets, trimmed of leaves and coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/2 celery root, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 parsley root, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 quarts beef stock or broth, fresh or canned
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-inch chunks
1 pound cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded
1 pound boiled brisket or 1 pound boiled ham, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 pint sour cream

Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds. Run them under cold water and peel them. Cut out the stem, then slice them in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves gently to remove the juices and seeds then chop them coarsely and set aside. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet or casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly coloured. Stir in the beets, celery root, parsley root, parsnip, half the tomatoes, the sugar, vinegar, salt and 1.5 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, partially cover the pot and lower the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining stock into a 6- to 8-quart casserole and add the potatoes and cabbage. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered for 20 minus, or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. When the vegetable mixture has cooked its allotted time, add it to the casserole with the remaining tomatoes and the meat. Simmer partially covered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the borshch is heated. Taste for seasoning. Pour into a tureen, sprinkle with parsley and serve accompanied by sour cream.

This is one that I certainly intend to try before the winter is out. We're currently going through one of our periodic "chinook winds" that sweep the area during the winter, and this weekend might be perfect opportunity....


 
Tas: I have appropriated your recipe for the Progressive Dinner of December 19 2013 thread as Borscht seems the perfect soup selection in this instance, and I simply don't have time to actually make it myself.
I have however done a bit of Googling to support my choice of it as a Christmas soup ...

No Polish holiday is complete without a bowl of borscht

Borscht is a traditional Eastern European soup that is said to originate from medieval times and is served in two distinct varieties that originate from the Ukraine and Poland. The Ukranian version of the dish is more of a stew than a soup, containing lots of vegetables and a bit of meat. The soup, regardless of where it is made, can be enjoyed hot or cold.

The dish is traditionally served during both Jewish and Christian holidays Passover and Christmas meals are not complete without borscht, according to the Nassua Telegraph. On Christmas Eve, many Polish families will serve the soup with uszka, small dumplings stuffed with mushrooms and sauerkraut, since meat is traditionally excluded from the holiday menu.

The medieval recipe for Polish borscht contained no beets rather, it called for cow parsnip that was known locally as the bear's claw, and the news source reports that it is unclear when beets became a standard ingredient.

Polish legend explains how the soup and the parsnip got their names.

One spring, a hungry bear wandered to a nearby village and caught the scent of food cooking. He followed the smell to a home and climbed into the kitchen through an open window. The cook took one look at the giant creature and fainted, so the bear grabbed the pot of soup and left the way he came. Since it was so hot, the bear dropped the pot and the soup spilled out onto the ground. The legend goes that the first cow parsnip grew up from this very spot.

Polish boscht can also be served without straining the vegetables and meats, so it is more of a stew and can be eaten as a main course. The broth for the soup is often made with leftover kielbasa water, and the main attraction of the dish is its acidity. In order to obtain the proper levels of acidity, the soup can be cooked slowly, taking anywhere from three days to one week to complete.

However, if you're in more of a hurry, you can speed up the process with lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar. Since the dish is staple in holiday celebrations, Polish people who are working or living in other countries wire money to Poland to make sure their families have enough funds to buy all the ingredients for borscht and all the other fixings for their holiday celebrations.

- See more at: http://blog.xoom.com/2011/08/no-polish-holiday-is-complete-without.html#sthash.vJu3148w.dpuf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 December 2013 at 01:33
Anne. Wonderfully written article on background. Thank you for posting. Happy New Year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Furtwangler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2014 at 09:40

Here's my recipe:

A week ahead I make the fermented beet juice. I shred two pounds of beets, put it all in large jars and cover with salted dechlorinated water. And let it ferment.

Now I make a potful of beef broth (with meat, not bones). I discard all the vegetables except for carrots, remove and reserve the meat and the carrots and add shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes and pre-soaked white beans. Meanwhile I bake several beets in foil. I peel the beets, grate them, cut the meat into cubes, slice the carrots and add it all to the soup. When everything is cooked, I add chopped dill and sour beet juice to taste and let it simmer for some ten minutes or so. Serve with sour cream, accompanied by a piece of good bread and some pearl barley cooked with salt pork, onion and wild mushrooms.

I prefer to do it the old way, i.e. with sour beet juice, instead of the new way (vinegar or lemon). Some people use sauerkraut juice instead, but I like it beetier and prefer to use raw cabbage.

There are no measurements, but I will note one thing. I cook it in a four-quart pot and it needs at least a good pint of the juice (or more, even a quart). So make sure that the soup is really, really thick before adding the juice towards the end lest it end up too thin after adding the juice.

Leftover beet juice is good to drink and good for you, too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2014 at 12:02
Great to have you back, and posting again, Furtwangler.

What have you been up to the past couple of months?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benedict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 09:48
Thanks for the great recipe Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2016 at 09:55
Guten Tag, Benedict!

You are most welcome! Please let us know how you like it, if you give it a try ~

And welcome to the FotW forum, as well! We are very glad to see you here!
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