Beef Borscht

Beef Borscht

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Beef Borscht is a quintessential soup for these frigid Winter days. I can just imagine my Russian ancestors huddled around the kitchen table and digging into a bowl of this body and soul warming soup laden with shredded beef, beets, cabbage, and potatoes. It is truly a whole meal in a bowl.

I used Flanken on the bone for this recipe; but you could also use chuck meat and a bunch of beef bones from the butcher. Bones give the stock more flavor so I wouldn’t leave them out altogether. As one who often resorts to a box (not cubes)of low salt stock for gravy or to add to a recipe; I definitely wouldn’t do it for this. Give this old world Borscht the respect it deserves.

I like to make this Beef Borscht over two days. I make the simple stock on the first day; chill it overnight, and then remove all the congealed fat on the second day. On day two- I peel, chop, mince and shred all the ingredients before I begin. In that way, finishing up the Borscht becomes an assembly line situation. Add, stir, simmer and enjoy.

For your vegans/vegetarians, try my Vegan Borscht.

Prep time: Day one: 15 minutes to put beef, bones, onion and water in the pot.

Prep time: Day two: 30-45 minutes to shred meat and prep vegetables

Beef Borscht

By Gloria Kobrin Published: January 8, 2014

  • Yield:

  • 10-12 Servings


  • 4 Pounds Flanken
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 6 Carrots
  • 4 Quarts Water
  • 2 pounds Fresh Beets
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Red Cabbage
  • 6 Medium Garlic Cloves peeled and minced
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 12 Ounces Tomato Paste
  • 1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar or As Much as You Prefer
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or As Much as You Prefer
  • 4 Large White Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Freshly Chopped Dill
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • 6 Quart Soup Pot with Cover
  • Fine Strainer/Cheese Cloth
  • Grater/Electric Food Processor


  1. Day 1- STOCK: Peel and cut onion in half. Peel 3 carrots and cut them in quarters. Rinse Flanken. Place vegetables in soup pot with Flanken and 4 quarts of water. Bring to boil and skim any film that rises to the surface. Reduce to a simmer, cover pot and continue to cook for one hour and 45 minutes. Remove Flanken, carrots and onion. Discard carrots and onion. Carefully strain stock through cheesecloth lined strainer. Refrigerate meat and bones separately from stock. Chill stock overnight and remove all the fat the next day.
  2. Day 2- BORSCHT: Pour stock and meat into large soup pot. Bring to a boil. While stock is heating, peel and shred beets (wear rubber gloves or else your hands will turn red).
  3. When stock is boiling, add shredded beets. Simmer 15 minutes. Prepare remaining vegetables while beets are simmering.
  4. Shred remaining three carrots and cabbage. Add to soup pot along with bay leaves, minced garlic, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Simmer one hour.
  5. Peel and dice potatoes. Leave potatoes soaking in cold water until you need them to prevent them from turning brown.
  6. Carefully remove meat from soup with a slotted spoon.. Discard all bones and pieces of fat. Shred meat and add to soup with drained potatoes and dill. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more vinegar or sugar if necessary. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot.