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Slavyanka Borscht

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Wannabebwana View Drop Down
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Joined: 29 January 2019
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    Posted: 01 February 2019 at 13:32
As mentioned in my intro, my wife is Ukrainian, but half Russian.  Borscht is a staple there, simply because it provides so much nutrition for the historically hard-working Ukrainians and their Cossack forebears.

Slavyanka means "Slavic girl".  So that's what I named my beloved's creation.

Beef, pork or chicken.  Any cut that has a bone in it, about 1/2 kg.  Boil the meat for 45 min in 4 liter of water with bay leaf, peppercorns, salt to taste.

While meat is cooking, prepare:

300g of shredded cabbage (optional, substitute 100g of homemade sauerkraut for 100g cabbage)
2 medium sized beets, peeled and shredded, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp. lemon juice (this makes them retain their dark colour)
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

Sauté the onion with carrot for 3-4 min.  Add beets, sauté another 2 min.  Add 1/2 cup of strained tomatoes.  Cook for another 5 min.

Remove bones and meat, shredding the meat off the bone.  Add the cabbage to the broth.  Boil for 5 min.  Add sautéed vegetables, cook another 3-4 min.  Add potatoes, simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 min.  Add a handful chopped parsley just before finishing.  When finished, add 2 small cloves of crushed garlic.  Remove from heat and let sit covered for 20 min. to absorb garlic flavour.

Serve in a bowl with a teaspoon of sour cream.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 14:35
It looks very good, and quite easy ~ a great first post, WB! Thank you for sharing your wife's recipe, and please thank her on our behalf!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 17:13
Best,
Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 17:17
Oops! Hit the  wrong button.

What I meant to post:

Never having had borscht I'm kinda stumped. The stereotypical borscht is a beet soup, right? And I know that borscht is not necessarily such. So, I ask, What does define borscht, anyhow? Thanks for enlightening me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 20:02
Borscht has become commonly associated with beets. However, there are many variations. Slavyanka tells me that they commonly harvest stinging nettles in the spring and summer to make a green borscht.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2019 at 08:41
>>>Slavyanka tells me that they commonly harvest stinging nettles in the spring and summer to make a green borscht.<<<

Indeed - I did a little looking around and found some great information on this. Wikipedia is hardly the ultimate authority on the subject, but it is convenient, so I am providing a bit of information from there:

Quote Borscht...is a sour soup common in Eastern Europe and across Russia. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht.

Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink. It is often served with smetana or sour cream, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes, but there exists an ample choice of more involved garnishes and side dishes, such as uszka or pampushky, that can be served with the soup.

Its popularity has spread throughout Eastern Europe and the former Russian Empire, and – by way of migration – to other continents. In North America, borscht is often linked with either Jews or Mennonites, the groups who first brought it there from Europe. Several ethnic groups claim borscht, in its various local guises, as their own national dish consumed as part of ritual meals within Eastern Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Jewish religious traditions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht


For further reading on the matter, I'll consult two books which have always been helpful for me, the Russian volumes of the Culinaria series and Time/Life's Foods of the World series:

https://www.amazon.com/Culinaria-Russia-Ukraine-Georgia-Azerbaijan/dp/383314081X

https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Cooking-Foods-World-Editors/dp/080940043X/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2019 at 09:36
Thanks, Taz.

Ukrainians are very much into living off the land, picking wild mushrooms, rose petal jam, harvesting wild herbs for medicinal and food uses (I tease her about her "witchcraft" - She is a devout Ukrainian Orthodox, so witches are bad, but "healers" are good.)  

Last year she spent two weeks at a health resort in the Carpathian Mountains, where there are a lot of mineral waters and hot springs that they use for different ailments, particularly digestive.  She also did "bee therapy" and insists that it helped her insomnia for months afterward.  https://healthywithhoney.com/sleeping-above-beehives-another-way-of-treating-ourselves-with-bees-help/

She'd like to go again this summer.  We're planning 3 weeks vacation there, so we'll see.  If I can, I'd love work out a true wild boar hunt and savour some of the meat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:41
Most Americans, if they've even heard of it, connote borscht with beets. That stems from the immigrant experience. Eastern European immigrants, particularly of Jewish heritage, brought borscht to New York, where it caught on, even in restaurants.  New York borscht is not only beet based, it is combined with sour cream, which gives it a vibrant pinkish color.

The fact is, of course, that borscht (under several spellings) is common throughout eastern Europe, in various forms.  There's even a white borscht, made, primarily, in Poland.

Even Ukrainian borscht is less ubiquitous than many people realize.  Variations abound, and the borscht of eastern Ukraine is not the borscht of the western part of the country.  

One big difference between real borscht and the Americanized version: Americans think of borscht as a strictly vegetarian soup.  The opposite is the case; most European versions contain meat, or are at least based on meat broth. 

Slavyanka tells me that they commonly harvest stinging nettles in the spring....

Here, again, there are differences. Although I'm intrigued by the nettle borscht, the version of green borscht I make uses sorrel.  I have no documentation on this, but suspect it's more a matter of what is available than any hard and fast regional rule.  



But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2019 at 10:45
BTW, Martin, I've hunted true wild boar. You're going to love it; but the hunting and the eating.

We can talk about this more off-line, if you want.  I don't think most members would be interested.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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