The Recipes

Borscht

My apartment smells amazing right now.  I will update this post if it doesn't turn out well... but the smells are amazing.  Borscht is a Polish or Russian stew that generally has beets in it and is traditionally served with some version of sour cream.  Here's my take:




Borscht

Ingredients:

- 4-6 oz. beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3-4 beets, leaves and ends trimmed
- 1/4 small onion, diced
- 1/2 small bulb of fennel, cored and diced, 1 T. of fronds reserved
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 T. paprika
- 1 1/2 T. sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. fresh grated horseradish (prepared can be substituted)
- 1 T. Greek yogurt
- 3 chives, chopped or snipped
- 3 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- 3 c. beef stock
- 1/4 c. dry red wine
- 2 T. flour
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the ends off of the beets and toss them onto a baking sheet.  Drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.  Roast them in the oven for one hour.

Towards the end of the cooking time, heat 1-2 T. of oil in a heavy pot.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and dredge the pieces in flour, knocking off the excess.  Add the beef to the oil, searing for 1-2 minutes per side to develop a brown crust.  Remove the beef to a plate.

Add the fennel, carrot, and onion to the oil, season with salt, and let them soften for 7-8 minutes.  Add in the garlic and paprika and stir to combine.  Add in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon as the red wine reduces.  Stir in the vinegar and honey, then nestle the beef back into the pot.  Add the beef stock, partially cover, and cook for another hour.

As you near the end of the hour, combine the sour cream, horseradish, Greek yogurt and chives.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cover your hands with gloves or plastic bags.  Carefully peel the beets with your hands or a paring knife.  Cut the beets into 1-in. pieces, roughly the same size as the beef chuck.  Add them to the pot for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with a dollop of the sour cream mixture.