Classic beef borscht recipe that you’ll come back to over and over again. Simple ingredients, classic method and authentic taste! You don’t want to pass on this soup.
Here’s the thing… I’ve become a mom (first time mom!) and things are quite busy around here now. I can no longer afford making bunch of appetizers and cooking dinner for the family. There’s just not enough hours in a day, you know. Even if there was, my little man will keep me occupied. He’s such a cuddler! ????
So anyway, I decided to start sharing my regular family meals with you guys. Besides, when I did a quick survey last year, a lot of you asked for quick and easy family-style meals.
Now today’s recipe isn’t really quick by any means, but it’s easy and oh-so-good! I like to take my time on a Sunday afternoon and cook some hearty soup to feed my body and soul. It’s so relaxing and therapeutic! Can you relate?
I may not have Russian (or Ukrainian) blood running through my veins, but I grew up in a Russian community and consider Russia as my second homeland! I’ve shared quite a few classic Russian recipes here on the blog before. And here is another one to add to the list. Borscht is actually a Ukrainian dish, but very common in Russia. Surprisingly it’s quite popular here in North Dakota too, because of all the Ukrainian immigrants settled in ND long time ago.
Today, I’m sharing with you a classic beef borscht recipe. This soup is so delicious that even my beet-hating husband loves it!
And here’re a few points that makes it classic:
- First things first, we’ll start with making a beef stock. If you have beef on the bone, fantastic! Cook it whole in the cold water and then remove from the stock and cut the meat into small pieces. If you’re using beef without bones, like I am here, then go ahead and cut the meat into small pieces and make the stock. When the stock boils up, it’ll produce some scum foam on top. Remove the scum with a slotted spoon right away for nice and clear stock, it’s purely for aesthetics though.
- And here is an important step that separates borscht from vegetable soup. We’ll sauté the carrots and beets separately and then will add it to the stock. If you’re just throwing all the vegetables into the soup, to me it’s just another vegetable soup.
- To preserve the beautiful bright color of the beet, some add vinegar or lemon juice while sautéing the vegetables. But I don’t think it’s necessary. However, I do prepare the beets in two different ways: grated and julienned. I think it adds texture and helps to preserve the bright color.
Although the winter here in ND has been unusually warm and we have no snow on the ground (thanks to El Nino!), I still like to pretend that it’s freezing outside and make a big batch of borscht. Comfort food at its best!!
Have you ever had borscht before?
Classic Beef Borscht
- 1 lb 450gr beef, cut into small cubes (Any kind of meat will work, I used stew meat here)
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium beets
- 2 medium potatoes
- 2 celery ribs
- 7 oz 200gr cabbage (about ¼ of medium cabbage)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Sour cream and bread for serving
- In a large pot, add the beef, 1 teaspoon of salt and 10cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, skimming off the scum for clearer stock. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Grate the carrots and 1 beet on a large grater, and julienne the other beet. I like the different treatments of beets for texture and color.
- Cube the potatoes and celery into small pieces. Thinly slice the cabbage.
- Once the stock has been cooking for about 30 minutes, add potatoes and bay leaf.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add grated carrots along with pressed garlic. Sauté the carrots until nice and fragrant. Add beets and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add sliced cabbage and celery into the stock and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the sautéed vegetables and cook until heated through, about another 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve immediately with sour cream and bread.