Why Vinegar is Added to Borscht: You’ll Wish You’d Known That Before

Borscht definitely suits every family. Despite its traditional cooking, every hostess has her own secrets: someone adds beans and mushrooms, and someone experiments with different kinds of meat. But the most important thing in the borscht is the rich red color. Vinegar does an excellent job with this mission.

The main ingredient of the borscht is red beets, but they have the ability to lose their rich color if the borscht boils over. Of course, it will not affect the taste, but it will spoil the visual impression. However, it is easy to preserve the saturated color of borsch with the help of a few grams of vinegar.

Why do we need to add vinegar to borsch – let’s explain the info
Inexperienced hostesses often complain that their borscht is too pale. The fact is that grated beets lose color during long heat treatment. The approximate time to bring the beets to readiness – is 15 minutes. However, everything depends on the characteristics of the variety.

If you overdo it on the stove, the borscht will not be deep red. But the color can be saved if you add vinegar to the borsch.

Simply sprinkle vinegar over the beets before stewing. Use a vinegar concentration of 3-9%. For 5 liters of ready broth, it is enough to take a tablespoon of vinegar.

While cooking, taste the beets, if they seemed too sour, stabilize the taste with sugar. Borscht with vinegar and sugar will look brighter.

What to replace vinegar in borscht – options

Housewives sometimes ask whether it is necessary to add vinegar to borscht. If you are not too fond of this liquid, you can replace it. The color of borsch will perfectly preserve the color of citric acid. The method of application is the same.

Add citric acid to the beets at the tip of a knife, or less than half a teaspoon, during the stew. Stir thoroughly.

What’s better to add to borscht with citric acid or vinegar – tips

It’s hard to answer because these ingredients are virtually equal and both perform their function well. Choose citric acid or vinegar based on your own tastes and abilities.

Borscht with vinegar and sugar – recipe

To prepare it, you will need:

  • meat (beef, chicken, pork – your choice) – 400 g;
  • cabbage – 400 gr;
  • potatoes – 4 pcs;
  • Carrots – 1-2 medium-sized pieces;
  • beet – 2 pcs;
  • water – 3 liters;
  • vinegar – 1 tbsp;
  • sugar – 1 tbsp;
  • sugar – 1 tbsp;
  • salt to taste;
  • bay leaf – 3 pcs;
  • oil – 3 tbsp;
  • Greens – a small bunch.

Start by preparing the meat broth: boil water, add the bay leaf, dip the meat, make sure it does not boil over, and collect the buzz.

Once the meat is cooked, add diced potatoes to the broth, and after a few minutes, add shredded cabbage.

Take care of the main ingredients – beets and carrots. Grate root vegetables on a coarse grater and start to stew in a pan with oil.

Important: at the beginning of stewing add vinegar to the pan with beets, and stir it. Braise the beets for a few minutes over medium heat and add the sugar. The amount of sugar can be determined approximately because each hostess stabilizes the borscht at her own discretion. You may need less sugar than in the recipe.

Mix the stewed beets with the meat broth, and add your favorite herbs and salt.

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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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