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Borshch Recipe

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rachael ray acai


2 lbs. beef, cubed in 1 inch chunks
Russian sunflower oil (it really makes a difference, go out of your way to get it at an East European shop)
1 large yellow onion, chopped in large chunks
1 or 2 bottles of rich, malty beer
2 to 3 cups beef broth
1/4 head of cabbage + 1/4 head of cabbage (optional)
1 1/2 cups carrots chopped in large pieces (optional)
1-2 cups of cubed potatoes (optional)
3 or 4 large beets, chopped in large chunks
Fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream

Brown the beef in several tablespoons of oil and put it aside. Cook the onions and half of the cabbage (1/4 head) in the leftover oil until the onions are clear. Add this to the meat in a large pot. Pour in the beer, the beef broth, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. I use Knorr's liquid beef broth extract and more beer rather than adding water. This gives more flavor with less liquid. If you use straight broth, cut back on the beer. Simmer this concoction until the meat is tender. It will take an hour to 2 1/2 hours depending on your cut of meat. Chop all the other veggies, and any others that you want to add. There are no rules, just realize that certain veggies will be done earlier than others. Carrots, potatoes and beets take about the same amount of time to cook (about 20 min., depending on how large the pieces are). Add remaining half of chopped cabbage (if desired). It will stay crunchier than the first addition. Skip this if you don't want this texture. The liquid should not quite cover all the veggies you put in. Add more liquid if you think it is necessary, but don't overdo it; this should be a very hearty soup. Simmer until the veggies are to your liking. Remember, the veggies will soften some as the whole mess cools down, so you may want to turn off the heat just before you feel they are just right. Add salt and pepper and minced dill to taste (I usually use a large bunch). This borshch is best if it is allowed to cool, and then re-heated just before serving. It also freezes well. Serve with sour cream and more dill if desired.