BBC Good Food Magazine
Olia Hercules Beef shin & prune borsch
Food writer, chef and stylist Olia Hercules shares her mum’s recipe for this iconic dish
There are many variations of borsch – even within Ukraine. Each region (and even places in each region) might have a special version of it. The stock base is simple to make, and creates a gorgeous base for the soup, so it’s worth taking the time to do.
SERVES 4-6 PREP 20 mins COOK 2 hrs EASY
For the stock
1kg fatty beef shin, cut into large
1 onion, peeled and left whole 1 bay leaf
For the broth
2.2kg potatoes, peeled and
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, roughly grated
200g beetroot, peeled and cut
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
½ x 400g can chopped tomatoes 6 prunes, pitted
½ white cabbage, shredded 400g can red kidney beans, drained
100ml soured cream or crème fraîche, ½ bunch of chopped dill and crusty bread, to serve (optional)
1 To make the stock, put the beef, whole onion, bay leaf and 2 litres of lightly salted cold water in a large saucepan. Cook over a very low heat for 1 hr 30 mins or until the beef shin is soft and falls apart easily – this can take up to 3 hrs. Skim off the scum with a spoon from time to time. Break up any larger pieces of beef, remove the onion and discard. 2 Add the potatoes to the saucepan, season well and cook for 10-15 mins until tender. Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a large, deep frying pan. Cook the chopped onion and carrot for 10-15 mins over a medium heat, stirring, until caramelised.
3 Add the beetroot and cook for around 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper, if using, and cook for another 2 mins, then tip in the tomatoes and prunes, stir, then increase the heat. Boil to reduce slightly before adding to the borsch. 4 Add the cabbage and beans, and cook for 7-10 mins or until tender. Serve with the soured cream and a scattering of dill on top, with crusty bread on the side, if you like.
GOOD TO KNOW gluten free
PER SERVING (6) 651 kcals • fat 17g • saturates 6g •
carbs 74g • sugars 14g • fibre 12g • protein 43g • salt 0.3g