hot beef borscht with sour cream

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Servs: 10

A hearty meal-in-a-bowl for blustery March days. Short ribs add flavor, while sliced cabbage contributes texture. At the end, the only things you need are a dash of vinegar and a dollop of sour cream.

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  • add   2 celery stalks, chopped
  • add   2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • add   1 cup water3 cups (about) canned beef broth2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • add   3 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • add   3 1/2 quarts water
  • add   1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • add   BEEF STOCK
  • add   2 tablespoons (or more) red wine vinegarSour cream
  • add   1 cup diced carrots
  • add   1 large russet potato, peeled, diced
  • add   1 cup chopped onions
  • add   1 large onion, sliced
  • add   2 bay leaves
  • add   12 whole black peppercorns
  • add   4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • add   10 medium beets (about 2 inches in diameter), rinsed, tops trimmed
  • add   6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
  • add   2 whole clovesBORSCHT

Instructions

  1. FOR STOCK: Heat vegetable oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of beef ribs and sauté until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining ribs; transfer to plate. Add sliced onion to pot. Sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Return ribs and any juices to pot. Add 3 1/2 quarts water and remaining stock ingredients. Bring to boil, skimming any foam from surface. Reduce heat and simmer until ribs are very tender, skimming foam occasionally, about 2 1/2 hours.
  2. Using tongs, transfer ribs to plate. Strain stock into large bowl. Chill stock until fat solidifies on top, at least 3 hours. Remove meat from bones; cut away excess fat. Shred meat finely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover meat and chill. Keep stock chilled.)
  3. FOR BORSCHT: Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange beets in single layer in 13x9x2-inch baking dish; add 1 cup water. Cover; bake beets until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Cool beets. Peel and cut into 1/3-inch dice.
  4. Remove fat from surface of stock. Add enough canned beef broth to stock to measure 10 cups.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add diced carrots and chopped onions and sauté 10 minutes. Add cabbage and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add 10 cups beef stock, beets, potato and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Simmer until cabbage and potato are tender, about 20 minutes. Add shredded meat; simmer 5 minutes. Season with additional red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle borscht into bowls. Top each with dollop of sour cream and serve.

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