Borscht

This classic beet soup is traditionally served with savory pastries called Pirozhki.

Borscht
This classic beet soup is traditionally served with savory pastries called pirozhki.
Yield: serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beets (about 12 oz.), trimmed
  • 1 1-lb. piece beef chuck roast
  • 1 3-lb. piece beef bottom round
  • 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus some chopped for garnish
  • 3 carrots (2 roughly chopped, 1 grated)
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into a medium dice
  • 1 large leek, cut into a medium dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2" cubes
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1⁄2" cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Homemade Tomato Paste
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Chopped dill, for garnish
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°. Wrap beets in foil, put on a baking sheet, and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Unwrap beets and let cool; rub off skins. Using the large-holed side of a box grater, grate beets into a bowl; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine beef chuck roast in a large pot with 12 cups water; bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to surface. Add bottom round, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add parsley sprigs, chopped carrots, half the onions, half the peppers, and the leeks; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, until meat is tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Strain broth; discard vegetables. Let beef chuck cool; cut into 1⁄2" cubes. Set beef chuck and 7 cups broth aside. (You can use the remaining beef round and broth to make Boiled Beef With Horseradish Sauce)
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5–6 minutes. Add remaining carrots, onions, and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened, 6–8 minutes. Add cabbage; cook until softened, 6–8 minutes. Add reserved beets and broth, potatoes, apples, and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, 14–15 minutes. Add reserved beef, vinegar, garlic, and tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Ladle between bowls and serve garnished with parsley, sour cream, dill, and scallions.