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Beefy Short-Rib Borscht

February 21, 2017

Winter is my favourite season. Snow. Snuggling with my new hubs. And soup.


Don't get me wrong, you'll find me whipping up a batch of soup any time of year, but there's something extra special about a tasty bowl of soup when you're bundled in your warmest blanket and the winds are howling outside. That said, Toronto has had a streak of freakishly unseasonal days. I know it's supposed to be winter. February is usually biting cold, everything covered in ice and snow. I can even see a little snow out the window as I type this, tricking me into thinking that winter has come back overnight. It hasn't. People are wearing shorts. Not everyone. Just the weirdos. It's warm enough though, that the rest of us are leaving home in just a sweater! This is April weather. It's weird. I'm loving this soup anyways.


One of my favourite soups is borscht. There are so many variations. Everyone's grandma has what they consider the best recipe and no other compares. Well, I'm not a grandma yet, but I think this recipe can hold its own with the best of them. It's hearty and chock full of beefy goodness.





This recipe is a little more time consuming than most, but the scratch made beef broth and roasted beets really add a depth of flavour that can't be beat.


Beefy Short-Rib Borscht


Serves 12


Beef Broth:


2 Tbs butter

4 lbs beef short-ribs

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 liters plus 2 cups water

2 carrots, chopped

1 dozen peppercorns

2 bay leaves





12 beets, cut in 1" cubes

5 cups beef broth

3 Tbs reserved fat from broth or butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

10 cups prepared beef broth

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled & diced

Salt & pepper


Garnish with sour cream and fresh dill



For Beef Broth


1) Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium high heat, and in small batches, brown ribs. Transfer browned ribs to a plate.


2) In the same pot, saute onion, garlic and celery about 10 minutes.


3) Return ribs to the pot and add water and all remaining ingredients. Boil and skim any foam that surfaces. Reduce heat.


4) Summer until the meat is falling off the bone, about 2 hours, skimming any more foam that appears.


5) Strain the stock and chill until the fat solidifies. Set ribs aside and discard the left over veggies.


6) While the broth is cooling, remove the bones and fat from the ribs. They should be super tender, and the meat should fall apart in your fingers. 


7) Once the broth is thoroughly cool, skim off the fat, reserving 3 Tbs for later. Keep broth and meat wrapped and cool until use.



For the Borscht


1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread beets evenly over a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of beef broth. Wrap with aluminum foil and bake about an hour or until tender.


2) Melt reserved fat (or butter) in large heavy pot and saute onion, carrots and garlic until the onions are translucent.


3) Add 9 cups beef broth, beets and potatoes to pot and simmer about 20 minutes or until all ingredients are tender. At this point, I like to puree the soup a little.


4) Stir in the shredded ribs and continue simmering a few more minutes. Taste and season if necessary.


5) Serve and garnish with sour cream and some fresh dill. Enjoy!





Well I hope you love this hearty soup as much as I do. If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments.


What is your favourite winter soup? Do you have a killer borscht recipe? Let me know!





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