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Borscht Crock Pot Method

Description

Easier and you may not actually dye the entire kitchen red this time!

Ingredients

1 onion (large, minced)
6 beets (small, or 4 medium peeled and cut into julianne strips)
2lbstew beef (I used chunks of grassfed beef)
1 tomato (Large tomato, chopped and seeded)
1 carrot (Thinly sliced)
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns (whole black peppercorns, bruised)
1tparsley, dried (if using fresh parsley, use 1 sprig worth of leaves)
2tsea salt (or to taste)
1⁄4cvinegar, white (nothing too fancy)
2cbeef broth (I use the kind in a paper carton from Wholefoods)

Notes

This recipe is for a large, oblong crock pot - if you have a smaller one, you may need to cut back on the ingredients by about 1/3.   Previously, I had cooked a version of this on the stove top - which takes a long time (my nickname for that recipe was "a celebration of boiling") and usually results in dyeing my hands and most surfaces beet red... literally.  Because of all the time necessary for the stovetop variety, I would use a giant stockpot from a restaurant supply shop and freeze most of the resulting soup - I once sent a picture of the large yield to my Russian friend who despises borscht just to make him cringe!  Borscht seems to be one of those things people either love or hate.  Personally the second I feel a coolness in the air I am compelled to make a batch - and now with the crock pot method, its not such a big deal.    The crock pot variety stores well in the refrigerator or freezer and reheats deliciously.

Instructions

Start by adding the onion and beef to the crock pot, along with the herbs and spices.  Then the carrots, beets, tomatos, cabbage, and beef broth, making sure to keep the ingredients and liquid level below the maximum filling line for the crock pot (if not marked, then generally 1.5" below the lid).  Cook for 10-12 hours or more on low - in the middle of cooking give it all a good stir and try to put all the ingredients under the resulting liquid.   When cooking is done, stir in the vinegar and adjust seasoning (sometimes a little extra sea salt is necessary) to taste.   Enjoy in large bowls - some people like to add a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt on top when serving.   For experiment's sake I added a little bit of Beyond Organic Amasai to mine the other day for a treat.

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