The most iconic dish of Ukrainian cuisine is beef borscht! Outside of Ukraine, in Europe and the USA, this masterpiece of Ukrainian culinary art is often called – beetroot soup! Although, there are many recipes where you either don’t use beets, or they are not used there.
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But today’s recipe can be conditionally called beetroot soup. Although! No. This is Ukrainian beef borscht, and borscht cannot have any soup prefix.
Ukrainian borscht ingredients
Here are some of the basic ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious beef and beetroot dish at home. You can find a full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
- Beef: borscht from it will not be as fatty as from pork! It is best, of course, to use young beef or veal.
- Beets: Look for large, firm red beets for best results.
- Cabbage: Regular green cabbage or milder Chinese cabbage are great. But do not overcook it; otherwise the taste will change significantly.
- Dill and Parsley: Fresh herbs add incredible flavor and aroma!
- Onions, carrots and celery: for making the base of the borscht.
- Potatoes: You can take regular potatoes and cut them into small cubes, or cut small potatoes in half. Depending on your taste preferences, adjust the number of potatoes (more/less).
Traditional Ukrainian borscht has a very deep and rich red color. You can achieve such a beautiful color by using many beets, tomato sauce, and allowing the borscht to cook longer. It seems to me that the borscht acquires a better color after about an hour of cooking. Beet gives more color, and with tomatoes makes borscht wealthy! The longer cooking time also gives it more flavor!
How to make borscht with beef
- Sear the meat on all sides and season generously with salt and pepper. When the meat is browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
- Add butter and make a simple base of onions, carrots, and celery. Add garlic and spices later – to really bring out the flavor!
- Then add the beets, tomato sauce, broth, water, and seasonings and let it simmer for up to 1.5 hours. This longer cooking time allows the borscht to get a wealthy and deep flavor and makes the beef extremely tender!
- After an hour, add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. If possible, use young potatoes – they are sweeter and borscht tastes better with them!
- Finally, add chopped cabbage, dill, and parsley.
On our website, you will find many recipes for Ukrainian borscht. So, if you don’t have beef at hand, you can easily cook borscht with chicken. In general, almost every region of Ukraine prepares borscht differently – it all depends on traditions and available ingredients. In the Poltava region, borscht is always cooked with lard and served with donuts with garlic, and in Odessa, you will be surprised with Ukrainian borscht with a sprat.
Due to such a variety, it is impossible to say exactly which recipe is authentic, but 100% in any version, borscht is delicious.
Ukrainian borscht with beef
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Borscht recipe beef
You can write whole books about making borscht because there are so many recipes. Today's recipe is a classic Ukrainian beef borscht.
- Beef – 700 gr.
- Oil – for frying
- Salt and black pepper – to taste
- Butter – 2 tbsp. l.
- Onion – 1 pc.
- Carrot – 3 pcs.
- Celery – 2 pcs.
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Ground coriander – 1/2 tsp.
- Ground cumin – 1/2 tsp.
- Sugar – 1/2 tbsp. l.
- Medium beets – 3 pcs.
- Beef broth – 1 l.
- Water – 1 liter; more if you want a thinner borscht;
- Tomato purée – 1 cup (0.24 l)
- Potatoes – 4-5 pcs.
- Cabbage - 300 – 500 gr.
- Fresh parsley – 2 tbsp. l.
- Fresh dill – 2 tbsp. l.
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp. L.; not necessarily
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef, season with salt and increase the heat to high. Cook meat until well browned, 7–8 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
In the same pan, add the butter and let it melt. Dice the onion, carrot and celery, add them to the pan and stir. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mixture for 4–5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic, then season the mixture with salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, and sugar. Peel the beets and cut them into cubes. Add beets, broth, water, and tomato sauce. Add more water for a thinner borscht. Return the browned beef to the pot.
Cover the pan with a lid and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until beef is tender.
When the beef becomes soft, add the potatoes and cook the soup for 15 minutes.
3–5 minutes before the end, add shredded cabbage and bell pepper (optional). The time of adding cabbage depends on the cabbage itself: so young cabbage should be added 1 minute before you turn off the heat so that it does not overcook. Therefore, you should independently determine the degree of readiness of the cabbage during cooking and remember that the heat treatment of the cabbage does not stop after you have removed the pan from the heat, and it continues to cook. Add a spoonful of lemon juice – if you like sourness in borscht.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the borscht on plates. Garnish with fresh herbs and add a spoonful of sour cream.
Borscht changes its taste after a night in the refrigerator, but only for the better.
You can safely replace the beef in this recipe with pork, chicken, or even lamb – the cooking time does not change.
Serving Size8 servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 310Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 63mgSodium 1050mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 6gSugar 10gProtein 33g
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