Ukrainian Borscht

Ingredients for the broth:

2-1/2 lb beef flanken or short ribs
3 quarts of water
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 of small celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, clean but unpeeled, stuck with several cloves
6 to 7 whole allspice berries

Ingredients for the borscht:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 medium parsnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 of small celery root, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium baked or cooked beets, without tops, shredded on coarse side of grater
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6-7 large garlic cloves, crushed or pressed
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste


1 cup sour cream or yogurt
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley 
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill


  • In a large (5-6 quart) pot, bring meat and water to boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer and skim of foam. 
  • Add salt, carrot, 1/4 celery root, whole onion and allspice; simmer gently, partially covered for about 2 hours, or until meat falls of the bone.
  • When meat is very tender, remove, strip off bones, and cut into small cubes. Place in bowl and cover.
  • Strain broth and rinse out pot.
  • Place pot over medium heat, warm oil, and sauté onion 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cubed celery root, carrot, parsnip and prepared cabbage. Sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add strained broth, potatoes and shredded beets. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
  • Just before serving, while soup is simmering gently, stir in garlic and lemon juice. Remove from heat immediately.
  • Serve hot with dollop of sour cream or yogurt and generous sprinkling of parsley and dill.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
All foods can be broken down into one or more of six basic nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

Most foods are complex and composed of more than one basic nutrients.

Some foods are composed of only one or two of these components. For example:
- Cooking oils are practically all fat, and some of them may have a small amount of vitamins.
- Sugar is 100% carbohydrate, no other nutrients.

The most valuable animal foods in common use are meat, eggs, milk, fish, gelatin and fats.

Meat is composed of muscular tissue, connective tissue or gristle, fatty tissue, blood vessels, nerves, bone, etc.

The value of meat as food is due chiefly to the nitrogenous compound it contains, the most valuable being the albuminoids.

The gelatinoid of meat is easily changed into gelatin by the action of hot water. Gelatin when combined with the albuminoids and extractives has considerable nutritive value.

Meat extracts or meat extractives are meat bases, or rather meat which has been dissolved by water, such as soup stock and beef tea.

The object in cooking meat is to kill any germs which may exist and to soften and loosen the tissue, which renders it more easily digested and make it more palatable.

The digestibility of meat is influenced by the age of the animal killed and the feeding.