Thursday, November 1, 2012


There are many versions of Borsch. This is the version I grew up with minus the jalapeno. We also do not pronounce it with a “t” at the end but with a "sh".

Stock Ingredients:
  • 1 Chuck Roast or 7 Bone Roast
  • 1 onion
  • 1-3 celery stalks with leaves
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-10 peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
Using a large stock pot, cover rinsed meat with water. Add all the remaining stock ingredients and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer. Simmer until roast is fork tender.  Remove Roast to oven safe pan. Strain the stock.

While stock is simmering prepare soup ingredients.
Soup Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cans (approx 15 oz. each) stewed tomatoes, blended
  • 1 head of green cabbage cut in shreds
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
  • 1/2-small bunch of dill chopped or more according to taste
  • 1 handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional – 1 can of Garbanzo beans rinsed and drained

At this stage you can season the roast well and put in 325 degree oven to cook further and infuse some flavor into it to serve along side the Borsch.
  1. Saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and jalapeno (optional), in oil. 
  2. When these ingredients are soft blend them in a blender with the 2 cans of stewed tomatoes. 
  3. Add this mixture to the prepared stock and then add the rest of the ingredients. 
  4. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are done.
In the photo above I used an immersion blender to blend the sauteed vegetables with the stewed tomatoes. I think it is more efficient to use a regular blender.
Serve the Borsch with good bread, a dollop of sour cream, and slices of the prepared roast. I really went overboard and made a huge pot. I ended up freezing 7 containers to share or have at a later date.

We grew up eating borsch. I’m sad to say I really hated it when I was little. I’d sit in front of the bowl trying to get it down and it was difficult. One of the reasons why was the chunks of tomato that were in the soup. That’s why this method is much preferred to me where you blend a lot of the vegetables and eliminate many of the chunks in the soup. Today I don’t mind chunky soup but for Borsch I still prefer this method. There are many variations of borsch. Some people chop up or shred the meat and put it into the soup. My mother always prepared the meat from the stock pot to the oven and added some potatoes to cook with the roast. She then served it on the side. At this point if you wanted to add it into the soup you were free to do so. Instead of adding the sour cream to the soup growing up we’d spread the slice of bread with sour cream instead of butter to eat along with the Borsch.


  1. I love this kind borsch. The first time I ate it was in Saskatchewan about 5 years ago. The waitress told me it was Russian borsch, so they didn't use beets.I've made it since but the recipe I have, calls for 3 tbsp of white vinegar. Thanks for sharing yours.

  2. I would love to try your recipe Ellen. Again, I can see how our Mennonite mom's from Russia learned to cook from the Russian people.
    It really looks delicious.

  3. Roughly how long till the roast will be fork tender?

    1. Anonymous, Sorry to say I didn't time it but I'm going to guess an hour and a half...

  4. My mom always made cabbage borsht too. I never liked it. lol It was similar to this but without the beans and jalapenos. This looks delicious. I may have to give it a try.

  5. I like to shred all my veggies-it makes for a thicker soup and if it still seems too thin,I add instant mashed potatoes.

  6. I grew up eating something similar, called "Zuma Borscht", meaning Summer Borscht, I think...made with ham-hock, dill, sour cream, cabbage, onions, carrot, and lots of potato! It's still a family favourite...this beef version of yours is definitely going to get a try!

    1. I grew up eating Borsch, too (we just spell it Bors), in Romania. Except that our Borsch is always sour. We use different things to make it sour: raw grapes / plums or a very sour liquid made from fermented wheat bran. It is delicious and I miss it a lot!

    2. That sounds like the borscht I grew up with. Very tasty. We alwasy used the left over ham roast for our soup.

  7. shirley reimer bertheletteNovember 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Oh Boy Love this I made this leaving the beans out and shedding the meat and put it back in the pot ,, this is really,really good

    1. shirley reimer bertheletteNovember 3, 2012 at 2:14 AM

      and yes,, I did,,hate it too

  8. I'd not mind a bowl of your Borsch for lunch. It looks a lot like the Borscht my dad and I make. (smile)

  9. Oh Ellen - I could eat a bowl of that right now!!! I love how each family has their own version of Borsch and some are unwilling to share their secret family recipes (I could never imagine why??). So glad you shared yours - I think I'll have to make this soon.

  10. It looks delicious and infinitely better than what I was served when I was little, which was a very unappealing shade of red and I did not care for it. Yours sounds much better and I will make it very soon. Thanks!
    (PS - I hated it as a child too)

  11. This is the type of Borscht that I grew up with no beets.....yummm.

  12. Help! I need to cook borscht or borsch for 50 people! Any idea how many this recipe will feed? Just trying to get a handle on how many ingredients to buy. Alas, many Mennonite recipes lack the "Feeds _?_" (so many people). But I guess that's all part of the tradition. If there's not quite enough, you just 'demple' it! Any way this looks most like my own recipe! Ymmmm!

    1. Rebecca,
      This pot in the photo is an 11 quart pot. If you figure there are 4 cups to a quart the nearest I can tell you is that this would serve 44 - 1 cup portions. You need a bigger pot and more liquid to cook your meat in for the broth. Then you could add another can of stewed tomatoes and make sure you go with the larger portions on the ingredients. Like...3 stalks of celery not just 2, etc. Does that help. At the end if the broth seems a little pale add another can of tomato sauce or a little tomato paste... I don't think you can go wrong! Have fun. Oh and make sure you have lots of good bread!

  13. Thanks! It's well on it's way...! Now I need to figure out how many recipes of roll kuchen to make! Oh the things we do for our kids!

  14. I prefer chicken over the beef. I also use red pepper flakes to add some heat rather than jalapeno peppers. Fresh buns to dunk in the soup, and what a great meal.

  15. Hello, When covering the meat for stock in the 11 quart pot, do you fill the entire 11 quart pot or is it just covering the roast? Thank you!

  16. Can I make this big batch, pour into quart mason jars, and seal to store on shelves? Even with the meat in it? Doesn't seem that much different than salsa, which keeps well, but I was not sure. My mom and her mom used to can much more than I do, back when there were no refrigerators.

    1. Hello R.E.
      I don't have experience in canning so I'm not sure the method to use. I think my mom's friends canned borsch. I put it in tupperware and freeze it or in freezer bags and freeze it...

  17. I make a similar borscht and can it in pint jars for easy meals later on (and so I don't have to eat it for weeks on end!). I prefer to can it so that it doesn't end up getting lost in the freezer. Because it is basically all vegetables and meat, it must be pressure canned to be safely stored on the shelf. My extension office instructs 60 min for pints and 75 min for quarts at 15 pounds pressure for my altitude.