Question by Janna: What is an authentic russian borscht? there are too many recipes to choose from?
been looking for an “authentic” borscht recipe and the challenge is to filter through every claimed “authentic” recipe out there…how do you define authentic and what is borscht to most people? is it white/red? hot/cold? meet/less?
Answers and Views:
Answer by ckngbbbls
There probably isn’t any one “authentic” recipe for it.
Those kinds of dishes were made with what the cook had available,or took into consideration what family members liked or disliked.
Within my own German Russian family I can find you at least 5 possibly 10 different “authentic” recipes of kuchen. All good, all authenitically ethnic, all different.
Also, different parts of Russia probably had different things more easily available and also diffferent tastes.
Answer by First L
There are as many “authentic” borscht recipes as there are Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Belarusian grandmothers. The only absolutes about borscht is that it must have a broth/liquid, and it must have cooked beets. Beyond that, the grandmas’ imaginations ran wild. Cold borscht was typically served in the summer, and was often meatless. Hot borscht was served all other times of the year, and was often as thick as stew, and chock full of as many different vegetables as grandma could get her hands on. If grandma was lucky (she often wasn’t), there was some meat available to add to the soup stock. If she was REALLY lucky, there was sausage to add to the borscht. If the cows were generous, she had sour cream. If the sheep ate up all the dill plants, there was no dill in the borscht that month. Same with the parsley. You get the picture. Typically for holidays, a clear borscht consisting of nothing but hot beet broth (usually vegetarian, since most major holidays were celebrated on the Eve, during which the church usually mandated fasting) with some julienned beets was served. This was always considered the most “elegant” version of borscht, the type grandma always imagined rich city-dwellers ate every day before their rich meals of roast beef or chicken.
My favorite version of borscht consists of a beef or pork broth (chicken is OK, too), with carrots, sliced onions, sliced cabbage, sliced celery, parsley, dill, and thickened just before serving with some sour cream. My brothers always liked to add vinegar to their bowls of borscht at the table, but I never liked it too sour. I always looked forward to the days that mom put “polish” sausage into the borscht, since that was my favorite part (polish sausage tastes the BEST when cooked in beet broth, trust me!). My family always served it with boiled potatoes, which for some reason were ALWAYS cooked separately, and NEVER in the soup! They typically put some boiled potatoes in the bottom of their soup bowls, then poured the borscht on top.
The Poles have a version of “borscht” called “white borscht” which is potato-based instead of beet based. Only the Poles would ever call this “borscht”, though.
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