Friday, 16 August 2013

Borscht [борщ]

I don't know if it is a good idea to sneak in while the chef is fine-tuning his spécialité, but it smells very nice, very hard to resist (plus I am hungry).

Today we are invited for Borscht, made with love and care by Alexei. Three days of chopping, boiling, braising, his own elaborate twist to an Ukrainian classic.

Here is the speedy recipe for those who feel adventurous:

Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup (serves 6)

1 (16 ounce) package pork sausage3 medium beets, peeled and shredded3 carrots, peeled and shredded3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 medium onion, chopped1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste3/4 cup water1/2 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained3 cloves garlic, mincedsalt and pepper to taste1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste1/2 cup sour cream, for topping1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1. Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Fill a large pot halfway with water(about 2 quarts), and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, and cover the pot. Return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, and the can of diced tomatoes.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Transfer to the pot. Add the raw garlic to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
4. Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley.

(5. Unlike most things, it tastes better the day after)

Oh dear it's a mess. Never mind the recipe....

Then you'll just have to dig in. It will taste even better if people at your table are wearing a beautiful Ukrainian blouse and Ukrainian braids. Well, the braids are Russian but it works all the same.

Borscht is originally from Ukraine but Russians are quite fond of it too if you believe this picture: tubed Borscht consumed by Russian cosmonauts in space. I think it's a collectible!! 


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