Ukranian Borscht

A good Ukrainian borscht should be so thick with vegetables that, according to an old rule, a wooden spoon will stand upright when stuck into the pot.

Sometimes the borscht could be served as one-course meal.

Place the beef, marrow bone, spareribs, 1 onion, 1/2 carrot, 1/2 parsley root, and 1 ounce celery root in a 4- to 5-quart pot. Add 2 1/2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoonful of salt, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour. Remove the meat, put in a bowl, cover, and reserve. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables, and skim off all the fat. Add salt if necessary to taste.
Preheat the oven to 300F, then bake the beets for 40 minutes, or until tender. Let them cool, then peel and shred on a coarse grater. Set aside. Cut the remaining halves of carrots, parsley and celery roots and onion into thin strips. In a heavy skillet, saute the vegetables in butter for 15 minutes, stirring often. Halve the tomatoes and grate on a coarse grater so that the peel is left in your hand and can be discarded.
Peel the potatoes and cut each into 6 cubes. Remove the core from the cabbage and cut the leaves into 1-inch squares. Bring the meat stock to a boil, add the potatoes and black pepper, and simmer for ten minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for 10 minutes more. Add the saut? ed vegetables, beets, tomatoes, tomato paste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Salt to taste, add the ham, cooked beans, and mushrooms, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
While the vegetables are cooking, cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Add the meat, parsley, dill, and garlic to the soup. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Serve borscht in a warmed tureen-it will smell so good that the aroma can serve as an appetizer. Pass a bowl of sour cream as garnish.

1 pound boneless beef chuck.
1 beef marrow bone.
1 1/2 pounds pork spareribs.
2 onions, in all.
1 carrot, in all.
1 parsley root, in all.
2 ounces celery root, in all.
1 teaspoon salt plus additional salt to taste.
3 medium beets.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
3 tomatoes.
2 potatoes.
1/3 head cabbage.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
2 tablespoons tomato paste.
1/4 pound boiled ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice.
1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked for 2 hours in unsalted cold water to cover and cooked in the same water for 2 hours, or until tender.
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, washed, sliced, and cooked for 10 minutes in lightly salted water, then drained.
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves.
3 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press or finely chopped.
6 teaspoons sour cream.

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