Russian Cuisine


  Borshch Moskovsky


2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/ 2 pounds of beets, peeled and cut into strips 1/8 inch wide by 2 inches long (5 cups)
1/ 2 cup of finely chopped onions
1/ 4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts of beef stock
1/ 2 pound of white cabbage, quartered, cored and coarsely shredded
1/ 4 pound of boiled ham, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/ 4 pound all-beef frankfurters, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 pound boiled brisket from the stock, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 sprigs parsley, tied together with 1 bay leaf
1/ 2 cup of finely cut fresh dill or chopped parsley
1 cup of sour cream

Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds. Run them under cold water and peel them. Cut out the stem, then slice them in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves gently to remove the juices and seeds then chop them coarsely and set aside

In a 6- to 8-quart pot, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown. Stir in the beets, then add the wine vinegar, sugar, chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Pour in 1/ 2 cup of stock, cover the pan and simmer undisturbed for 50 minutes. Pour the remaining stock into the pot and add the chopped cabbage. Bring to a boil, then stir in the ham, frankfurters and beef. Submerge parsley and bay leaf in the soup, add another teaspoon of salt, and simmer, partially covered, for 1/ 2 hour. Transfer the borsch to a large tureen and sprinkle with fresh dill or parsley. Accompany the soup with a bowl of sour cream, to be added to the borsch at the discretion of each diner

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