A Family Favorite: Borscht

When I mentioned borscht in a recent post, several of you emailed, asking for the recipe.

I was introduced to this yummy stew shortly after I became engaged to my hubby. His family has a wealth of traditions, some of them (like borscht) stemming from my dad-in-law's Russian ancestry. My in-laws serve borscht every Christmas Eve but I make it all year round. Typically, I double my batch because left overs don't last long!

You'll Need:
2 pieces of bacon
all purpose flour
1/2 lb. beef stew meat (or leftover roast beef meat)
1 (15 oz.) can of beet slices*
1/3 to 1/2 a medium cabbage, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
8 cups beef stock or broth
1 bay leaf
sour cream

Large pot

How to Do It:
1. Fry the bacon in a large pot and place on paper towels to drain.

2. Pour a little flour in a shallow bowl and season with pepper. Dredge the meat in the mixture, covering every side with flour.

3. Saute the beef in the bacon drippings until it's no longer pink.

4. Add the vegetables. Add the broth, pepper to taste, and a bay leaf. Simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Add beets (including juice) and cook for another 10 minutes. (If you prefer the beets less strongly flavored, add them when you add the rest of the veggies. However, the borscht won't have it's traditional reddish look with this method.)

6. Serve with dollops of sour cream on top.

*If desired, you can use fresh beets; just slice them thinly soak them in a bowl of vinegar before you begin cooking.

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