Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Borscht with Lamb

We've had a bunch of beets languishing in our refrigerator for about a month now and, while they keep very well, I decided it was time to do something with them so I combined a couple of recipes and came up with this slightly Indian version of borscht if there can be such a thing.

olive oil
2 pounds roasted beets, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 quarts beef broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 head cabbage, cored and shredded
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 pint sour cream
chopped dill

Heat oven to 350. Trim beet tops to 1/2 inch, wash, and clip root. Rub with olive oil. Mix coriander, cumin, cloves, turmeric, salt, and pepper and rub mixture onto beets. Place in roasting dish in single layer and cook, stirring once or twice, for 1 1/2 hours. Remove when skins are wrinkled and beets are easy to pierce with a fork. Allow to cool, then cut off top and root, peel away papery skin (it's okay if you don't peel it all off), and dice.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot until very hot. Add the cubed lamb, and sear until well browned. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Pour in the beef broth, vinegar, and lemon juice; add the cabbage, tomatoes, diced beets, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lamb is tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish the soup bowls with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of dill after ladling in the soup.

I was actually surprised at how well this turned out - I guess I had in my mind that borscht would be tricky to make. I served it with dilled cornbread and two of my kids really liked it... let me tell you, two out of three ain't bad!

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