Borsch, the original recipe. Central Asian Cuisine
Since I was a child I have always detested beets, both for their sweetish taste and for their soft consistency. After a year and a half living in Almaty, I decided to taste the borsch, served in all the city’s Diners.
You will say that the borsch is a Russian dish, not Asian. The truth is that it comes from Ukraine; but, like so many dishes inside the Soviet Union, it has had the destiny to spread everywhere, becoming part of daily diet.
Finally trying it in one of Almaty’s Diners, I fell in love with it! The sweet taste of beets goes perfectly with cabbage and other vegetables; while the beef makes it a substantial meal that, in the form of soup, warms you perfectly.
The borsch is a poor dish, so cheap and easy to prepare. I recommend buying unprepared beets, but from your greengrocer; because they are the key of a good meal. The soup must indeed be red purple, not faded pink!
The recipe you read below is for the basic borsch. Some add peeled tomatoes or tomato sauce; you can prepare it with other vegetables to your liking. In the Ukrainian borsch is used lard to brown meat and vegetables. I prefer the simple version; more natural and light.
Ingredients for 4 people Preparation time: 2 hours
400 grams of beef for the stew, not lean
3 large potatoes
¼ of a large white cabbage
1 bunch of dill
Sour cream or low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon of white vinegar, salt, black pepper, a teaspoon of red pepper, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves.
Wash and cut the beef, preferably not too thin, in cubes; put it in a saucepan filled with water on the stove.
Peel the onion, carrots, potatoes and beets. Cut the beets in half and place them in a saucepan filled with water and cook them separately.
Cut the onions and potatoes into coarse pieces. Instead, cut the carrots into julienne strips. Wash the cabbage and cut it into pieces.
When the pot with the beef boils, clean the broth from the meat foam. Add the vegetables, salt, black and red pepper, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves after about 20 minutes.
Once the beets are cooked, remove them from the water and cut into julienne strips. Add them to the soup, stretching it with the red cooking water (do not throw it!). Cook for a full hour. Finally add a tablespoon of white vinegar.
Serve hot with chopped dill and a tablespoon of sour cream or low-fat yogurt. Enjoy your meal!
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