Making Red Borscht
from guest writer Sheryl Sayler
Wie geht’s! (vee gates) This is a common German greeting we heard at our recent attendance of the GRHS (German from Russia Heritage Society) convention. It usually means “how are you” or “what’s up?”. This is a greeting we heard often, growing up in our small town of Wishek, North Dakota, a German Russian settled community. Although we didn’t speak German in our family at home, there were a lot of German speaking people in the community, so I would hear my father greeting incoming customers at his lumber yard, or at church on Sunday mornings, saying wie geht’s. Just a little taste of home and the culture we come from.
A favorite session at the convention, was “Making Red Borscht”, by Valentyna Kramer. Her charming and engaging personality went a long way in making this session so enjoyable, but the delicious soup that resulted, and we got to taste, was the coup de gras. Mmm, yummy. It brought back memories of my mother making that soup many years ago. Now I have a recipe! Valentyna made the point that borscht was, and probably still is, a year round, daily staple in the Ukraine diet. Because of the healthy and relatively inexpensive ingredients, it should still be a regular staple recipe today. I plan to use it frequently this winter. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
By Valencyna Kramer
Ingredients to make 5 liters of borscht:
4 liters water
1 quart tomato juice
meat (beef with bones, chicken or pork, beef is preferred)
4 medium beets
5 large potatoes
2 large onions
3 large carrots
1 large cabbage
1 large bell pepper
dill, bay leaf, black pepper, salt, to taste
2 T white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
3-4 T cooking oil
sour cream or heavy cream for garnish
In a large pot put 3.5 liters cold water and add meat, 1 large onion, and cook 1 hour to create bouillon. Skim off the residue that floats to the top from the meat. Once boiling, turn to medium heat. Add a little salt. Cook an hour.
In another pot put the beets and boil them for about 45 minutes, then peel and shred.
Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables.
Clean and peel potatoes then cut into small squares. Add potatoes to bouillon after the 1 hour and boil for 20 minutes.
Quarter the cabbage, then shred and add to boiling potatoes.
Dice red pepper and add to pot.
Cut one onion into small pieces and shred the carrots. In a fry pan, saute to golden brown and add to bouillon.
Add shredded beets.
Cook another 25 minutes.
Add tomato juice or 3 T tomato paste.
Add salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, dill and bay leaf.
After potatoes have boiled 20 minutes, boil all ingredients for another 40 minutes.
When serving add 1 tsp of sour cream or heavy cream to bowl.
Serve with buns topped with garlic sauce. (salt, water, garlic, boiled together).
Please share your borscht making adventures!
Sheryl did make borscht and it was fabulous! I really like the shredded texture. Adding that dollop of cream added such a richness. It was delicious!