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"What's for Dinner Honey?" 

Borscht {with meat}- from Jan Lyon {The Duchess}

Mom decided to learn to speak Russian one year, and then went cultural rogue on us.  We spent a lot of time in Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian church bazaars and ate a lot of borscht.  A lot.  There's a longer story there, but we can't digress any more.  Here is her recipe with meat, it's time consuming to make {like the Russian Orthodox service} but worth it.

2 pounds beef short ribs
3 quarts of water
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 medium carrot
1 medium celery root, peeled: chop 1/2 up for broth,  chop 1/2 in cubes
1 medium onion
4 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
3 medium-large beets, without tops
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 medium turnips roughly cut 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, roughly cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium potatoes, roughly cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
6 large garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

In a large soup pot, bring the meat and water to boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer and skim off the foam. When the foam stops rising, add the salt, carrot, 1/2 of the celery root, stud the onion with the whole cloves and toss that in too.  Add the allspice berries and simmer gently, partially covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat falls off the bone.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub the beets, drizzle them with a little olive oil and wrap them in foil and bake for an hour, or until just tender.  Cool and peel the beets; shred on the coarse side of a box grater.

Strip the meat off the bones, and cut into small cubes. Set aside.  Strain the broth. Rinse out the soup pot. Add the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the cubed celery root, turnips and carrot. Saute 5 minutes. Add the strained broth, potatoes and shredded beets. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Just before serving, stir vinegar and lemon juice into the simmering soup. Remove from heat immediately. Serve hot with a big dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley.


*Is the word dollop ever used outside of cooking?  Does one apply a dollop of sunscreen?  A dollop of car wax?  Just wondering.