Full of rich flavour, Chef Chuck Hughes combines hot borscht with savoury beef ribs for a hearty dinner that will heat up any chilly night. It's what he calls a 'one pot wonder' recipe.
8 beef short ribs
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 medium leek, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
12 whole black peppercorns
2 ½ quarts water
6 medium red beets, reserve beet tops (If you mind your hands turning red from beet juice, you may want to don plastic gloves)
1 carrot, shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs. of tomatoes, seeded & chopped
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar (I like a vinegar taste, you might want to add a touch more)
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Crunchy dark Rye bread
1. Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot on a medium high heat. Add the canola oil, heat and add the beef ribs. Sear the ribs until well brown to create flavour. Stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, bay leaf, peppercorns and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, skimming.
2. Meanwhile, place unpeeled beets in a separate saucepan, cover with water, and cook over medium heat until soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and medium dice or shred.
3. Strain beef mixture, reserving broth and ribs and discarding vegetables.
4. Return broth to the pot and add beets, carrot, onion, tomatoes, vinegar and shredded cabbage. Remove the meat off of the ribs and cut into bite-size pieces. Cook until flavors meld, about 20 minutes more. Chop the beet tops and add to the Borscht, cook for another 10 minutes (beet tops tender). Season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve in bowls garnished with minced dill, a dollop of sour cream and dark Rye bread.