30 September 2009

Borscht recipe

Make stock with the bony parts of two rabbits, cooking it long and slow to extract as much flavor as possible.  Cook overnight, carefully topping off the stock pot with water before you turn out the lights and go to sleep, making sure the flame is as low as possible.  In the morning, remove from heat; the stock should be peat colored.

In an enameled, cast iron pot, saute an onion or two and a carrot.  Add dill and a nice fresh tomato from the garden.  Pull four or five good-sized beets from the garden; wash off the dirt and peel them.  Grate into the pot.   Add stock by the ladleful.  Remove meaty pieces from bones and add to pot.  Simmer gently.  Add a cup or two of uncooked, fermented sauerkraut.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I made the borscht late at night, put it in the fridge, and reheated it for dinner the next evening, adding another two cups of sauerkraut before serving.
My wife also roasted sliced potatoes and onions in the oven and for my second helping I added a scoopful to the bottom of the bowl.  My son likes sour cream; I like the tang of good kraut.


  1. I really want to try making some rabbits. I am a little scared...

  2. Don't be afraid. The only thing to pay attention to is not drying it out. It's pretty lean meat.

  3. I want to express some dissatisfaction with your use of the word "borscht" in which you include rabbit. Just because it is a soup and it contains beets, does not make it borscht. This is akin to frying some ground beef and eggplant and calling it Moussaka. I have been cooking for over 30 years now, and I am presently living in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I am also a published author, and presently working on a book about food here. Feel free to contact me by email at greg@photococktail.com

  4. Greg,
    Thanks for your comment. While I haven't seen any other recipes that explicitly call for rabbit stock, I don't think it ceases to be borscht when it's used. Borscht has so many variants across Europe (and into Asia) and over time that it's unlikely that a definitive borscht recipe exists. Borscht seems to be rooted in peasant culture, and I can imagine a farmer in the Ukraine or Russia or Poland trapping or shooting a rabbit and using its carcass to make stock for borscht.
    In my opinion, the use of beets and fermented sauerkraut does seem to make it a rather traditional borscht. Your thoughts?

  5. that sounds sooo nasty ewww... but people like it so i dont jugde them.. by alexandria

  6. Patrick, Borscht is a well defined dish. Rabbit would not be put into it by anyone traditionally. There are many peasant rabbit dishes, but Borscht is not one of them. You can imagine anything you like, but that doesn't change reality. Trust me, I've been traveling through this part of the world for ten years now.