Ukrainian Classic Borsch:
For a good borsch, is to prepare the stock and vegetables correctly,strictly observing the proper order in which the ingredients are added.
The amount of sugar included is a source of great dispute among borsch lovers. Some like it sweet and mild, others, myself included, prefer it tart and zesty. Adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to suit your taste. Borsch tastes better the next day.
1 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
1 pound pork ribs
2 beef marrow bones
3 quarts water
1 carrot, peeled
2 medium-size parsnips, peeled
1 rib celery with leaves
salt to taste
Bouquet garni (3 dill sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs, 4 bay leaves, and 10 peppercorns tied in a cheesecloth bag)
In a large soup pot, bring the meat, bones, and water to a boil over high heat, periodically skimming off the foam as it rises to the top.
Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, at least 45 minutes.
When the stock is ready, remove the beef, pork, and marrow bones, and set all but the marrow bones aside. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean large pot and discard all the solids.
Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
Meanwhile, wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil. Bake the beets until tender, 1 1/4 hours. Do this while the stock is cooking.
2 large beets (about 1 1/4 pounds)baked.
4 medium-size boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 pound fresh, ripe plum, tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 can (16 ounces ) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
SALT, to taste
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley,
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Allow the beets to cool until manageable, then stem and peel them and cut into julienne or fine dice.
Bring the stock to a boil, add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes, add the potatoes, onion, carrots, peppers and cook for 20 more minutes, add beets and tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Season to taste with sugar, pepper, and additional lemon juice and salt. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
Cut the beef into bite-size pieces and scrape all the meat off the bones. Add meat to the soup. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
Remove the borsch from the heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic, bacon (if desired), and 3 tablespoons each parsley and dill.
Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream.
Serves 12 to 14.