Bright Red and Rich: The Tricks of Making Borscht You Didn’t Know About

The perfect red borscht – the main secrets

Everyone knows that there are a great many recipes for borscht – each hostess has her own nuances and culinary tricks. However, there are a few mandatory rules that must be followed to ensure that you end up with rich and tasty borscht.


Meat must necessarily be poured with cold water, cook it only on low heat and regularly remove the foam. This is necessary in order for the borsch to remain transparent. If you do not know what is the best meat for borsch, then remember – only on the bone. It is it that gives a rich structure, and it does not matter what you use – pork, beef, or chicken.

If even after our tips broth is still cloudy – pour cold water into the pot and boil the liquid. Once the foam rises you will remove it and you will see that the broth became clear. Answering the question about what spices can be added to the borscht, experienced cooks call bay leaf and pepper peas – they give the borscht an unforgettable flavor. It is also better to put a whole onion for a spicy taste.


Many housewives face different problems in the process of cooking borscht precisely because of this ingredient. The most important dilemma is how to boil borscht so that the beets do not lose color. In order that you do not encounter such a situation, remember – raw beets can not be added to the stew. It will provide flavor but will lose color, so it can be boiled, baked, or stewed with tomato paste beforehand.

Sugar and acid

The unique balance of flavor that borscht is famous for is created by adding sugar – no more than 1-2 tsp per five-liter pot. You can “sugar” the roasted tomatoes or beets, but you must do it. Sugar will not only sweeten the borscht in principle but also slightly “soothe” the taste of the tomatoes. As for acidity, you can add lemon or pour a little vinegar, then the balance of sweetness and sourness will be maintained perfectly. The main thing is to add the acid before you put the beets in the pot.

Proper serving

The best additions to borscht are lard and garlic. To give the finishing touch, chop the lard and garlic in a blender, salt, stir, and then add to the borscht. Do this a couple of minutes after you have put the cabbage. Next, it is important to infuse the borscht – it is better to give it from 10 to 30 minutes. Then all products in borsch will be filled with juice, spices will give their flavor, and the dish will be rich and nourishing.

How to cook borsch in the olden days – Recipe

Here is a recipe for “Hetman’s” borsch that has been cooked in Kyiv since ancient times. The peculiarity is that it is cooked with beef and beans added to it, which was made only in one region.

  • beef – 800 gr;
  • potatoes – 80 gr;
  • cabbage – 80 gr;
  • carrots – 1 pc;
  • beans – 50 g
  • eggplants – 50 g;
  • Onions – 1 pc;
  • beet – 1 pc;
  • sour cream – 10 gr;
  • parsley;
  • bay leaf;
  • spices, salt.

Pour cold water over the beef, add the onion and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over high heat. Take out the meat, cut it into portions, strain the broth, salt it, and bring it to a boil again. Boil the beets, cut them into julienne strips, put them into the broth together with the meat and bring to a boil again. Cut potatoes into slices, shred the cabbage, and add to the pot.

Make a sauté of carrots and onions, boil the beans until tender, stew eggplants with butter, and strain them through a sieve. Add to borsch, and cook for 15 minutes more. Let the borscht infuse, and then serve with sour cream and parsley.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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