IN SEASON BEETROOT and a BRILLIANT BORSCHT RECIPE
We had the Pyrmont Growers markets on again over the weekend and we had to do it in the most hideous torrential rain I have seen for years, people still braved the elements and came out to buy their fresh food but generally it was much quieter. This gave me a chance to check out the very close stalls next to me as I didn't want to wander too far as the animals we were collecting in 2X2s for our ark might have wandered off.
The vegetable stall next to us had some insanely delicious fresh food and one item that stuck out to me was some bunches of the largest beetroot I have seen. They weren't selling too much and when I asked how much for the beetroot he said I could have them for $1.50 a bunch - HELLO - I will take 2 please. So I ended up with 8 HUGE beetroot for $3-. Then I started wondering what I could cook with it and settled on a family meal of BORSCHT.
BENEFITS OF BEETROOT
Many people are of the belief that Beetroot is good for the blood. This is not correct. Of course beetroot is good for you it is not high in iron so it will not help prevent anaemia, which many believe it will do. Beetroot's main benefits are that it contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fibre.
Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red colouring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. Additional studies are taking place to add support to these claims. The green leafy part of the beetroot is also of nutritional value containing beta-carotene and other carotenoids,( Carotenoid refers to plant pigments - of which there is a family of about 600 different types. These all function as antioxidants. The yellow, orange, and many of the red pigments in fruits, vegetables, and plant materials are usually carotenoids.) This part of the beet also contains lots of folate, iron, potassium and some vitamin C. The roots and greens therefore are great for women in general and for those planning pregnancy. Try eating the leaves and stalk boiled or steam and accompany with other more flavorsome vegies like onions and garlic. Or chop finely and add to quiches or stir-fries.
Borscht (also borsch, bortsch, borstch, borsh, barszcz, or borshch, ) is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color. In some countries tomato may occur as the main ingredient, while beetroot acts as a secondary ingredient. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and the green (zelioni) borscht (sorrel soup).
While it may be of Ukrainian origins many other cultures have claimed it as their own - I grew up occasionally eating the Polish version care of my Bubcia (grandma) and also cooked by my mum with Bubcia's recipe. But as we are both in part Polish and Russian I settled on a Russian BORSCHT recipe to cook and OMG - this recipe is DIVINE
I slightly altered a recipe I found on the net on a site called Simply Recipes. This one can serve 6 or enough for me and a few freezer meals
YOU WILL NEED:
* 8 cups beef broth
* 500gms slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
* 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
* 4 large beets, peeled, chopped
* 4 carrots, peeled, chopped
* 1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
* 3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
* 1 cup sour cream
* Salt and pepper to taste
YOU WILL NEED TO:
1 Bring 4 cups of the beef broth, the beef shank, and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
2 Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill. Cool broth slightly. Chill in pot until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
3 Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
4 Stir in meat, cabbage and 1/2 cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining 1/4 cup dill.
ENJOY AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON WHAT ELSE I CAN DO WITH MY BEETROOT PLEASE LET ME KNOW