January 07, 2006

Russian Cabbage Borscht

Altho most people think of beets when borscht is mentioned, when I was growing up it always meant this hearty beef and cabbage soup, which was one of the best things about winter.

1 lb. beef bones
1 lb. soup meat
6 cups water
1 can tomatoes
1 small head of cabbage, chopped into chunks
1/4 cup raisins
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lemon, the juice therefrom
2 tbsp sugar

Where we buy our meat, they sell packages of beef bone, sawed into segments 1-1/2 inches thick. We actually buy them for the canine to crunch on, but they are almost perfect for soup. I remember there always being a joint end in the kettle but I don't see those now. The butcher also sells soup or stew meat, already cut into chunks. The cheaper the cut of meat, the better the flavor. Boil the bones and meat in the water for an hour and a half, skimming the stuff which rises to the top every so often. I don't recall that my mother removed the bones at this stage but you might as well. People aren't that understanding any more.

Add everything else but the lemon and sugar, and simmer for at least an hour. Leaving it on the stove while shoveling the snow would be perfect. Add the sour and the sweet, cook a few minutes more, and serve in big bowls with a dollop of sour cream.

You could just use canned beef broth and water, and put everything in the crock pot. My mother would look down her nose at you but the meal would be just about as satisfying.

Posted by triticale at January 7, 2006 09:25 AM | TrackBack

I was hoping that someone would post a recipe for this. I haven't had it in many years. I wonder if a little sour salt wouldn't be a good alternative for the lemon juice.

Posted by: Dave Schuler at January 8, 2006 09:55 PM
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