Recipe from Confessions of An Oenophile

Auntie Mary’s Borscht

When my mother had to get dinner for eight, she’d just make enough for 16 and only serve half.  ~ Gracie Allen

     This borscht recipe is so, so good that it is certainly worth the effort. It will really warm you up. Just going to the supermarket is a major chore for some spouses. Fortunately, Uncle Pat did not mind. I hear about a lot and not all uncles are as cool, kind, cooperative, wonderful, and compliant as Uncle Pat.


The following is his grocery list:

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
    3 quarts of water (you may already have some at home)
    2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
    1 medium carrot, scraped
    1 medium celery root, peeled,
  • (Slice up some of it for the broth and cut the remaining into1/2-inch cubes)
    1 medium onion, unpeeled, stuck with several cloves
    8 whole allspice berries
    3 medium-large topless beets (without green tops)
  • 2 cups of chopped cabbage
    2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
    2 large onions, coarsely chopped
    1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 medium turnips, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
    1 large carrot, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
    2 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 well-rounded tablespoon tomato paste
    8-10 large garlic cloves, crushed
    Juice of 1/2 lemon, or extra if you really want more taste
    ¾ to a full cup sour cream or yogurt
    3 tablespoons finely chopped dill
    3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup or full cup of a lighter red wine (i.e. Pinot Noir)
  • 2 to 3 tbls of red wine vinegar

Pull out a 5 to 6 quart pot and bring meat and water to boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and skim off foam. When foam stops rising, add salt, carrot, 1/4 celery root, whole onion and allspice.

Simmer gently, partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat falls of the bone.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. While the oven is warming, scrub beets, wrap in foil and bake for an hour or until they are just tender. Poke through the foil with a skewer or fork to check for doneness.

Take them out of the foil to peel beets and shred on coarse side of grater.

When meat is very tender, remove, strip off bones, and cut into small cubes. Place in bowl and cover with foil. Strain the broth. Rinse out the pot. Then place the pot over medium heat. With warm butter, sauté onion for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cubed celery root, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Sauté that for 5 minutes.

Add a strained broth, potatoes and shredded beets. Bring it all to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Just before serving, while soup is simmering gently, stir in cut garlic and lemon juice. Remove from the heat immediately.

Serve the borscht piping hot in flat bowls with dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of parsley and dill. Oh, so delicious!


When my mother had to get dinner for eight, she’d just make enough for 16 and only serve half.  ~ Gracie Allen



copyright MMVIII

Confessions of An Oenophile – An American Family Cookbook

by David A. Dailey


About Max's Scout Services and Communications of the Americas, LLC


Posted on January 13, 2012, in Food Glorious Food & Beverages. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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