Borscht with meatballs

Borscht with meatballs
Borscht with meatballs

Serves 4
Cuisine type: Eastern European
Cooking time: More than 2 hours
Course: Main
Favourite flavours: Soup
Cooking method: fry, boil/steam, simmer
Season: Autumn, Winter

Borscht with meatballs Beef stew with parsley dumplings
Beef stew with parsley dumplings

Borscht is a fresh beetroot soup, originally from Poland and Russia, made with meat and/or cabbage. Serve it cold or hot, but always with a dollop of sour cream. Ask your butcher to cut the shanks into thirds for you.
Make soup a day ahead to allow the flavours to intensify. Also, make the meatballs the day before; refrigerate, uncooked, covered on a tray. Drop meatballs in reheated soup to cook.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small brown onion (80g), chopped coarsely
1 small carrot (70g), chopped coarsely
1 small leek (200g), chopped coarsely
250g cabbage, chopped coarsely
1 large tomato (220g), chopped coarsely
2 medium beetroot (350g), peeled, chopped coarsely
2 veal shanks (1.5kg), trimmed, cut into thirds
1.25 litres (5 cups) water
500g beef mince
½ cup (100g) white medium-grain rice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 small brown onion (80g), chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 eggs, beaten lightly
½ cup (120g) sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Heat oil in large saucepan; cook coarsely chopped onion, carrot, leek, cabbage, tomato and beetroot, stirring, 15 minutes. Add shanks and the water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1½ hours. Remove shanks; remove and reserve meat from shanks for another use, such as in a soup or stew.

Meanwhile, combine mince, rice, paprika, finely chopped onion, garlic, parsley and egg in large bowl; shape rounded teaspoons of mixture into meatballs.

Return borscht to the boil; add meatballs. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until meatballs are cooked through.

Divide borscht and meatballs among serving bowls; dollop with combined sour cream and dill. Serve with sliced rye or pumpernickel bread.

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