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Ukrainian Borscht

The Hirshon Jewish Ukrainian-style Borscht – борщ

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 8 cups beef stock, made from lots of good meat and at least two sawed marrow bones
  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large red beet, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salted duck fat smashed with some garlic, kosher salt and ground black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 parsley root (known as Petrushka in Russian) or 1/2 parsnip, sliced
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons duck fat smashed with some garlic, kosher salt and ground black peppercorns
  • 1 pound shredded chuck beef
  • 1/2 pound magret (breast fillet) of duck, sliced and shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke (or more to taste)(Optional, TFD addition)
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • fresh dill, chopped
  • optional garnish: sour cream


  1. Heat the stock in a large soup pot, add cabbage and potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the beets, vinegar, duck fat, sugar, and tomatoes in a saucepan and cook gently, covered, for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Then, in another small pan, heat the sunflower oil, mix in the onion, carrot, and parsley root (or parsnip) and braise.
  4. When the cabbage and potatoes are finished simmering, add the beet mixture, the onion mixture, the peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves–and cook another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chopped garlic, the remaining duck fat mix, the tomato paste, the shredded beef and duck meat and the chopped parsley. Then turn the heat down to a very low simmer, lightly cover the pot, and simmer very slowly for about 4½ hours. Turn off the heat, let cool, and allow to ripen for about 12-18 hours in the fridge.
  6. When ready to serve, reheat gently, then add the optional liquid smoke, stir, and ladle into bowls. Top each with an optional dollop of sour cream (obviously not if you are keeping kosher), garnish with more chopped parsley and dill, and serve with a slice of dark rye bread.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes