I got a request to post a recipe and I thought it would be better to start a new thread that wasn't specific to Christmas.
Here's the recipe I used to make the barszcz on Christmas Eve. It is not the recipe my family uses, but my wife prefers it. (Traditionally, my parents and grandparents didn't serve any meat on Christmas Eve, so the barszcz I am used to eating is vegetarian.)
This recipes makes more than enough to serve four.Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
3 duck legs w/thighs OR 2 pounds meaty beef bones (I used oxtails)
10 cups beef stock
5 med garlic cloves, sliced
1 med onion, chopped
4 med celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, white and some of the green, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
2 large beets, peeled and chopped (I shredded one to increase redness of the broth, and cut the other one into fat matchstick-sized pieces)
1 small parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs italian parsley (flat leaf)
6 sprigs thyme
1 whole clove
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 black peppercorns
3 tbsp dill, chopped
As garnish, enough mushroom dumplings for three per bowl. (I'm too lazy to make my own, so I use the best mushroom ravioli I can find.)Prep
- Heat oil in large skillet over med high heat, add the meat and saute until well browned on all sides, about 5 min. Remove and place on paper towels to drain some grease.
- Place meat into a large stockpot with the beef stock. Over high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Skim the surface carefully with a spoon to remove any impurities that rise.
- Add all the vegetables and seasonings except for the dill and simmer slowly for 2 hours. It's important not to let it boil or the deep red color will fade.
- Strain the soup through a fine conical sieve (or whatever kind of sieve you have) into a clean pot and stir in the dill. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with three mushroom dumplings.
I modified the recipe slightly to more closely approximate the kind I'm used to eating. Prior to step 3, I reconstituted some dried assorted wild mushrooms by soaking them in enough boiling water to cover them, for 15 minutes. I added the mushrooms and their soaking liquid in step 3.
In step 4, I added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for a hint of tartness. I also rescued about a "handful" of the fat-matchstick beet slices and added them to the broth.
The soup was a hit with the wife and kids, and I kept eating it until it disappeared.