Adapted from Anya von Bremzen’s Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook, this recipe uses three kinds of meat, a copious amount of cabbage, and beets as an accent.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Roast marrow bones for 25-30 minutes until browned.
- In a large soup pot, bring the meat, bones, and water to a boil over high heat, skimming foam off the time regularly.
- Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil. Bake the beets until tender, 1 ¼ hours.
- Allow the beets to cool until to the touch, peel them and cut into julienne or fine dice.
- When the stock is ready, remove the beef, ham bone, and marrow bones, and set all but the marrow bones aside. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pot and discard all the solids.
- Bring the stock to a boil, add the potatoes, and season with salt. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and green pepper, cabbage and sauté over medium heat until the onion and green pepper softened, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add the vegetables to the soup.
- Sprinkle the beets with lemon juice and add them to a soup. Stir the soup and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and prunes. Season to taste with sugar, pepper, and additional lemon juice and salt, if desired. Simmer for another 7 minutes.
- Cut the beef into the bite-size pieces and scrape all the meat of the ham bone. Add both meats to the soup.
- Remove the borscht from the heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic, bacon (if desired), and 3 tablespoons each of parsley and dill. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with chopped dill and sour cream.
Mari Uyehara is a food and travel writer based in Brooklyn. She was previously a senior editor at Saveur, the food & drink editor at Time Out New York, and the food editor of Martha Stewart Living Radio.