Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our favorite soup

I had borscht growing up, but never cared for it. It was red with lots of veggies and no meat and I just didn't like it.

So when my next-door-neighbor (the super duper awesome Alaskan one) said she was making borscht I was surprised. She told me she found a great recipe and told me all that was in it. Ham hocks, bacon and meat, meat and more meat...oh and a few beets and some cabbage.

Ok, fine, I had to try it. She gave me the "recipe" if you can call it that. It's just like any soup, use what you have don't use what you don't have. Add the spices and you have a killer stew.

I made it for us and my sis and her hubby. And now I have strict instructions to call them over for supper if I make it, guess who's coming over for dinner tonight?

I'll give you the general recipe but adapt it as you need to. I'll put my notes at the bottom about what I did today.

~3-4 qt water
2lbs beef shanks or chunk beef or hamburger or leftover meat (this is what I save my leftovers for) browned (tonight it's ground venison, left over moose roast and left over moose steaks)
1 c ham or pork shoulder or bacon or sausage or ham hock or ham bone (tonight it's ham bone and ham)

2 bay leaves
8 pepper corn
4 sprigs parsley or a few TBS dried parsley
1 T salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 c vinegar
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 c fresh dill or some dry
1 c sour cream plus extra

carrots, I don't have any today so it'll do with out
onions or leeks, I never have leeks I'm using 3 onions tonight
beets ~2 lbs. I use fresh, frozen, canned or pickled beets, all of them work
cabbage, I usually put in a lot like a small head, it really shrinks down
new potatoes if you have them

I make this different most every time. My recipe is not clear. If I'm using bacon for flavor I cook that in the pan first, then remove to add last. If I'm using a ham hock or bone like today, I cooked up the hamburger and onions, added the bone, added extra water than normal (to cover the bone) and all the spices plus more I might save off some broth for the next batch. I have even made it pork free for our friends who don't eat pork. Still very good.

Simmer bone in the broth for a while if you have a bone, or just throw in your carrots, onions, meat, spices water, simmer for a while. When harder veggies are cooked add cabbage, beets, tomato paste, vinegar, dill and your cup of sour cream last.

Serve with extra sour cream and dill.

Your family will love you, extra and then beg you to make it time and time again. This is my favorite "harvest" food because it sucks up so much of the extra garden produce in the fall, I always want leftovers to freeze, but there has never been.

Country Jane, enjoying the kitchen on this rainy day

gather ingredients, make sure you have extra coffee, don't mind the coffee mate it's your imagination, I would never drink that crap

sink full of venison, cabbage, ham, leftovers and more leftovers thawing out

when this lard is gone I'd like to render my own, my friend is a huge lard fan and I really like it

venison burger from a friend and onions in the lard

ham bone with more water than the recipe calls for...going to have to triple the broth on this one
  -that's all the pics I have for now, bone is still simmering-


Leigh said...

I'm very happy to see the borscht recipe. I had lots of beets last fall and really wanted to try this. I'm wondering if it can be canned(?) Sounds really tasty. (From another lard fan).

LindaM said...

I've never had borcht but love beets. I'll try this version out though. It seems more interesting than other recipes I've seen. Thanks.

Country Jane said...

I forgot to say that it's one cup of sour cream to the pot. I fixed that. Glad you like the recipe, I have no doubt you'll like it as much as we do.