Borsch recipe, Ukraine - Global Storybook

Borsch – A Traditional Ukrainian Beetroot ‘Soup’

Marta Denys

Marta Denys

Marta Denys is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Ukraine).
Marta Denys

If you’ve ever been in Ukraine before – then you’ve probably tried this dish.  The Ukrainian Borsch is an undeniable symbol of our country and it is one of the main staple dishes in our national cuisine.  In addition, its delicious taste and healthy ingredients made it widely popular all over the world.

There are 70 official, plus over 300 unofficial recipes of Borsch.  Each family, including our own, has its own version, according to the individual taste.  Hence, we can say with confidence that Borsch is an integral part of our national heritage.

Moreover, the only ingredient which is always present across all Borsch recipes is beetroot.  So allow me to share with you my own family’s recipe.  I hope that you will like it!

So what do we need to make 3 liters of Borsch?  

  • 3 average size beetroots (its important for beets to have dark burgundy color)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • half a head of cabbage
  • 1 cup of white beans
  • 500 grams of beef or pork ribs
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 100 ml tomato sauce
  • 30 ml oil
  • 5 granular black pepper peas
  • 1 granular fragrant pepper pea
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1-2 tbsp of sour cream (per plate)

Ukrainian Borsch recipe - Global StorybookHow to cook a Ukrainian Borsch?

1. Start with placing the cut rib chunks and beans into a large pot re-filled with cold water (about 3 liters).  Then boil until the meat is half ready (1,5 hours approximately).  Next, add the peeled beetroots cut in halves (or quarters if beets are too large in size) to the pot and boil for another 20 minutes.

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In the meantime, cut the carrot, onion, cabbage and potatoes in cubes (as pictured below).

Also, after about 20 minutes – take out beets, and leave them aside to cool off.

2. While the beets are cooling down, add the carrot, cabbage and potatoes into the pot with meat and beans.  Then salt it to taste.

3. Afterwards, slice the beetroots into thin stripes.  Place the onions into a pre-heated frying pan with a bit of oil and fry until they gain a light golden color.  Next, add the beetroot slices and the tomato sauce to the pot, then stew it for 15 min, mixing periodically.

4. Transfer the beetroots from the frying pan into the pot with the rest of the vegetables.  Mix well.  Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice plus a bit of garlic into the pan.

5. Add 5 black pepper peas, 2 bay leafs, plus 1 fragrant pepper pea.  Cover the pot with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 min.

Finally, pour the Borsch into a bowl then add some sour cream on top (optional – and a pinch of dill).

Enjoy it! (Smachnogo!)

Borsch recipe, Ukraine - Global StorybookPro tips:

1. To make the beans boil faster – place them in cold water and leave overnight.

2. The Borsch usually tastes the best on the next day, once all the ingredients have inter-mixed better.

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