Friday, November 22, 2013

How to make the base for Borsch (or Borscht)

For the best borsch, you have to make beet kvass (which is pickled-fermented beet base):

Deseray has that beet kvass look, doesn't she?

With the beet kvass made, you can go vegetarian borsch (for Christmas Eve, Lent, or for vegans-vegetarians), or more hearty meat based borsch (which mean making stock base and adding the beet kvass to it).  Personally, I think borsch should be bright purple red so anything that takes away from that is not good (hence the reason I do not add tomato to borsch, it muddles it too much, but borsch is a soup that has many variations).  The advantage of the pickled beet kvass is more vitamins and anti oxidants are maintained.  I am not a believer this will keep you from getting cholera, but I generally like pickled food.  

Making this is a lot like making homemade pickles.  I chop the beets into cubes (apparently grating will trip it from lacto-fermentation vinegar to more alcohol fermentation), add aromatics like garlic and dill, place those in a large glass container, then cover with lightly salted water (about two tablespoons for a gallon, use sea or kosher salt).  It should be placed in a dark location and allowed to ferment for about four days).  Ta da, it should be done.  If the dill or garlic float, you can keep them surmerged by filling a zip lock bag with brine and placeing that over the top.  I personally do not cover it tightly for the first few days of fermentation, but some do.  

The history of borsch
How to make perfect borsch... (this is a good collection of various alternative recipes)
Do not disrespect the borsch...
Here is a recipe.  I leave the potatoes out.  But you can add them if you like them. Here is another.
Saeurkraut Borscht  I agree purple cabbage is better.
Borsch eating bears

Why should you eat borsch?  It makes you beautiful.  All these women grew up on borsch.

Rule 5 Palate Cleanser

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