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Beef, Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

This was all I ever wanted to eat growing up, and I still crave it more than I care to admit. This Eastern European cabbage soup is really more of a schi than a borscht, but why quibble over names? In America in the ’60s, unless you were Russian, this was borscht. Funny how that works. It’s a meal in a bowl to be sure, but small portions are a great starter. I have been making this for decades; it’s a battle-tested classic. —Andrew Zimmern

Slideshow: Hearty Stews

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds English-cut beef short ribs
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 8 cups beef stock, chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 2 dill sprigs
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 beets (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced
  • 1 small rutabaga (1/2 pound), peeled and diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 pound carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage (1 pound), cored and shredded
  • Half of a 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juices
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sour cream, chopped dill and grated horseradish, for serving


  1. prepare the short ribs In a heavy medium pot, heat the oil. Add the short ribs and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the short ribs to a baking sheet and let cool. Strain the broth through a fine sieve. Discard the beef bones and dice the meat.
  2. meanwhile, prepare the borscht Wrap the juniper berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds, dill, oregano and parsley sprigs in a double layer of cheesecloth and tie tightly into a bundle. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the beets, rutabaga, leek, onion, carrots, celery, cabbage and the herb-spice bundle. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and the cabbage is wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the strained beef broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the vinegar and the chopped meat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the borscht with sour cream, chopped dill and horseradish.
Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Meyer

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