Bruce Z’s Polish Red Borsch (BARSZCZ CZERWONY)

bruce and stew big

My uncle Bruce’s big, meaty, delicious barszcz czerwony truly has that old-world cachet and will wonderfully impress guests. This recipe is sized for a party. (P.S. Also known as borscht, bortsch, borstch, borshtch, borsh, borshch, Ukrainian борщ)

Bruce Z’s Polish Red Borscht (BARSZCZ CZERWONY)
10 lbs. boneless chuck roast, cut into 3″ squares
2 beef soup bones
Butter or olive oil
8 lg. carrots, sliced into 1/2“ rounds
8 lg. turnips, sliced into nice size strips
8 celery stalks, cut into 2” diagonals
4 onions, sliced
2 cans (12 oz) tomato paste
1-2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper, coarsely ground
4 tbsp. vinegar
3-4 tbsp. sugar
8-10 lg. beets, cut into 3” strips
2 small heads cabbage, cut into wedges
Dairy sour cream
Black rye bread

Note: The recipe has been broken in two parts so the fat can be skimmed from the broth, the first part can be prepared the day or morning before.

Part 1. In frying pan, melt the butter or add olive oil to a skillet, brown meat on medium-high to high heat, turning frequently. Drain the fat and transfer meat to large stock pot as they are done.

Add beef bones and initially add 1 large onion, and just 1-2 pieces of each vegetable for flavor (reserve the remaining vegetables for later). Cover the meat and initial vegetables with enough water to cook all the ingredients on medium-high heat. Blend in tomato paste, salt, pepper. After the meat has been cooking for 1-1½ hours, strain broth and allow to cool so that fat rises and can be skimmed off. Reserve the meat and initial vegetables, discard the bones.

Part 2. Return the reserved meat and vegetables and all of the remaining uncooked vegetables, except the cabbage wedges and cook on medium-high for ½-1 hour more. Add the vinegar, sugar, and place the cabbage wedges atop, just pushing into the liquid. Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender.

Serve! Pass sour cream to spoon a large dollop atop each bowl. Serve with black rye bread and beer!! Enjoy.

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