Sunday, April 04, 2010

#60 Slow-cooked beef borscht

Slow-cooked beef borscht

This was a weekend project. I started cooking it early in the morning and finished just in time for supper. This may seem a little extravagant, after all - who has this amount of spare time to dedicate to a soup?! But it was a nice, quiet Saturday and this soup was so worth it!
You start by making the most delicious stock. Just put everything in a deep pot, switch the cooker on low and enjoy the rest of your day. I read a nice book, did some household chores, baked a cake... It was coffee time, when the meat was ready and needed a few minutes of my attention. I took it out, put in on a plate, added the veggies and retired to watch a sweet movie. Thankfully, the movie had a happy end, as did my borscht :) It looked so comforting and smelled so inviting... So, I lit a candle, served the borscht in two nice, old-fashioned dishes, poured us some vodka ;) and there we had it – our own, small piece of heaven!

To serve 4
For the stock
400 beef brisket
1 onion, halved
1 carrot
2 celery sticks
½ a leek
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
a pinch of dried thyme

To finish the soup
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
2 beetroots, peeled and roughly chopped
½ head of cabbage, roughly chopped
200 g potatoes, peeled and cut in 2 cm dice

For the horseradish sauce
2 tbsp horseradish cream
1 tbsp crème fresh

Make the stock first. Put the meat in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Skim off the impurities.
Lower the heat and add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Cook on very low heat for at least 3 hours, or until the meat is well cooked.
Take the brisket out and chop it into 2 cm pieces.
Strain the stock, return to the pan and discard everything else.
Put the stock back to the boil, add the chopped vegetables and cook on medium for ½ hour, or until the beetroot has softened.
Add the meat back to the soup. Check the seasoning and add more salt, it needed.
To make the horseradish sauce, mix the ingredients and serve in a small bowl.

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