OLD COUNTRY BORSCHT
3 cups water (I use 1 to 1½ cups red wine if I have some to use up)
¾ to 1 pound beef brisket, cubed—or stew meat or chuck—whatever you wish
½ onion, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, cut into ½” lengths
3-4 medium carrots, pared and thinly sliced
2-3 medium beets, pared and sliced
½ head cabbage, cut into reasonable-size hunks
1 bay leaf
1½ teaspoons salt
1 medium to large beet, pared and coarsely shredded
3-4 oz. tomato paste
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ pint dairy sour cream
In a large kettle place the first 9 ingredients. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours. I use a 6-quart pressure cooker, and cook 20-25 minutes at 15 lb pressure; you can either release pressure by running cold water over the pressure cooker, or just let it sit until the pressure is back to normal.
Add the next 5 ingredients and simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes. You can cool and refrigerate at this point—or serve it right up.
Serve topped with sour cream.
Makes about 5-6 servings, depending on the size.