My Russian borsch recipe (Moscow style)



  • 5 quarts beef broth
  • 1.5  pound slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 large to medium beets, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled, and chopped (or grated)
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tomato diced (or 3 tablespoon canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ of bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh dill and/or  parsley
  • sour cream as topping in the plate
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic


1 Prepare the beef broth: In an 8 quart stock pot, filled to about 5-6 quarts boiling salt water, place the bone-in beef shank. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to a low boil. Some albumin from the meat surface will dissolve and rise as foam, which should be skimmed from the surface (the dog is an ideal way to dispose of the foam). Add half onion, peeled beets, cover, and simmer until meat is tender – about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours and add water slowly to replace that which boils away. Add pepper and bay leaves.

2 Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill.

3 Take beets out

4 Add potatoes to the broth, bring to boil for 15 min

5 Put oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in chopped onions, cook until onions become soft and translucent. Then add grated carrots, bell pepper, tomato and tomato paste. Stir-fry vegetables on medium heat for 5 min.

6 Add vegetables to the stock; Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender about-20 minutes – season to taste with salt and pepper.

7 Add to the broth cabbage, cook until cabbage is tender, but not too soft, about 10 minutes.

8 Grate or chop beet roots and add back to broth, bring to boil for 5 min.

9 Place meat back in the pot

10 Add chopped garlic, parsley and dill, stir for 1 min and turn off the heat

11 Cover borsch and let it sit at least an hour to allow the flavors to permeate.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining fresh dill.

Tips :

ü  You can make borsch spicy by adding a red pepper. My Grandfather always put a little chili pepper in his plate and really enjoyed it this way

ü  Borsch is a second day dish-it’s even better at the second day.  I never can wait though and eat it the first plate right away, but I usually cook enough for two days

ü  To save the time, use prepared beef broth

ü  Borsch can be vegetarian and still taste delicious.  You can add fresh or dried mushrooms or beans.  Many Russians cook borsch this way during Easter Fast

ü  To be completely honest, the greatest way to enjoy the hot Borsch on a cold day is with a shot of cold vodka before starting the journey.

ü  Here is the most important part: Put a tablespoon of sour cream in the middle of the steaming soup, but do not mix it. Take the spoon of borsch and a little touch of cold sour cream together to enhance the taste.

ü  Don’t kill yourself trying to find fresh parsley and dill. It’s OK without that as well

ü  Eat with black bread with garlic on it and Bon appetite (Priyatnovo appetita)!


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