The best Ukrainian Borscht recipe on the outer rim
May 13, 2019
Rudbek’s is all about good food. Today we will share one of our most beloved recipes, for a very traditional Ukrainian dish called Borscht (the transliteration varies sometimes. I don’t think the t is so strong in the original in Russian - Борщ, but Wikipedia uses Borscht as their transliteration of choice so we will stick with that).
It is not a very complex recipe to pull off, but it can be a bit lengthy, especially so if you don’t own a pressure cooker. We at Rudbek’s have only prepared it so far in a pressure cooker, specifically in this one:
So if you intended to prepare this recipe in a regular pan, please adjust your cooking times accordingly.
- Pork meat. 400g/500g (boneless) or 700g/800g (with bones - highly recommended for extra tastiness)
- 4 mid to large-sized beetroots
- 200g of white beans (dry)
- 3 carrots
- 2 onions (purple if you are feeling zesty)
- sour cream (or even better, Schmand, if you are in Germany)
- any other extra veggies you might have lying around which would work good in a stew.
- salt, black pepper, and any other spices you might like
- 3 Bay leaves
Beans Preparation (to be done the night before)
Wash your beans first and leave them overnight in a bowl with water and two spoons of vinegar. They should soak there for at least 12 hours, to remove the phytates that are bad for digestion.
Start by washing the pork meat and adding it to your pressure cooker, together with a generous amount of water (usually up to the minimum level as set by the cooker or at least 2 liters). Put the bay leaves and the beans together with the pork. Close the pressure cooker, leave it on mid fire and let it cook for about 20 minutes after it goes in to pressure cooking mode.
Dice the onions, grate the carrots and beetroots. Clean and prepare other veggies you might want to add to your stew as well. Add some olive oil to another pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes. When the onions are golden, add the garlic, the carrots and mix it well. Leave it on mid-fire for a few minutes, until the onions are well cooked. By then they should also absorb a bit of the color of the carrots. Add some more olive oil or water if necessary at this stage (you don’t want to burn the onions or the carrots).
Now add 75% of the beetroots, together with 5 tablespoons of the broth of the pork (it can also be regular chick broth or any other broth you might have, in case the pressure cooker is still closed). Mix it well, let it cook on slow fire for 6 minutes with the closed lid. At this stage, you can also add your other veggies to the broth and the remaining 25% of the grated beetroots.
Add ground black pepper, other spices you might like, and a bit of salt. Let it sit in slow fire for another 5 minutes, complementing with more broth if necessary.
Now it’s time to add all the cooked veggies to the pork and beans. Mix it well, and let it cook on the pressure cooker (with the open lid) for around 20 minutes on slow to mid-fire.
Let it rest for 1 hour before eating. It usually gets even better the next day (due to the biochemical reactions that still take place hours after cooking).
Add sour cream/Schmand to your liking when serving.
Share and enjoy!
Written by @rudbektango who lives in the outer rim of the galaxy. You should follow him on Twitter