Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grand Version of Borscht

The cookbook Splendid Soups by James Peterson was the inspiration for this recipe. I’ve changed several items to suit our taste and because I didn’t have it at home and didn’t want to make a road trip. So here goes on a winning recipe.
James had a nice write up about the recipe after each title. It would be a very nice Christmas or Birthday gift.

2  1 pound smoked ham hocks. (I didn’t have this.)
3 pound beef brisket or chuck 1 or 2 large chunks (I cut mine in small pieces and used chuck)
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of rind and excess fat, in 2 or 3 large chunks.
                                                                           (I cut mine in small pieces.)
2 ½ quarts of beef broth or water (I used 7 cans of Campbells Beef Broth, 1 can Campbells Beefy
                                                                            Mushroom Soup plus 2 cups of water.)
1 bouquet garni, including 3 marjoram sprigs if available
1 1/3 pounds fresh or 2 10-ounce can whole beets drained. (I didn’t use these since I deemed the recipe sweet enough.  ( I didn’t use beets.)
1 small head of cabbage
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 leeks finely chopped
1 Cup white wine vinegar
Salt  & pepper
You may garnish with sour cream and finely chopped fresh dill. ( I didn’t have the dill.)
Use a large pot to heat the beef broth and water on high. Add bite size pieces of meat and bouquet garni. When it approaches a boil turn down to a slow simmer for 3 hours.  Skim off any froth or fat that floats to the surface.

Peel off and discard the tough outer cabbage leaves. Cut into short slivers. Add chopped onion, leeks, cooked beets if you want to, and cabbage to soup and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in wine vinegar and season to taste.


  1. Sounds really good, but also way too much work for me! I like how you tweeked it to your own taste and what you had available. But what is bouquet garni? Never heard of it.

  2. Hi Chris! I wondered what Bouquet garni was also and so I looked on-line. It is 3 stalks parsley, 1 sprig thyme, 1 bay leaf 3 marjoram sprigs or 1 Tablespoon of each Fresh oregano, savory, thyme, majoram, rosemary. It did take me a couple of hours to cook up! Cal tweaks a lot more than I do but I get brave now and then! :)

  3. This really looks good. We eat more dishes like this in the winter months. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Hi Lavender Dreamer! This is a great winter recipe. One that warms you from the inside out! We plan to try chicken with it next time. So far the shrimp and the Italian sausage worked out well. :)