Borscht is a Ukrainian beet stew with a savory, sweet, and slightly tart flavor that turns a vibrant fuscia color. In this easy recipe, lamb adds richness making this a hearty, yet light, dinner. Gluten free, vegan optional (use vegetable stock).
1poundboneless stew lamb chunksleg of lamb or beef sirloin tip, diced
2carrotspeeled and chopped
1smallhead red cabbagehalved, cored, thinly sliced
1tbspcoconut sugaror brown sugar
2quartsbeef stockor vegetable stock
3beetspeeled and grated
1/4cupred wine vinegar
1/4cupsour creamor plain Greek yogurt (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring to sear the lamb, 1 to 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, carrots, potato, and cabbage. Cook until the vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally (10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, coconut sugar, coriander, cooking for 1 minute. Add stock and bay leaves. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer until the cabbage is very tender, 15 minutes. Stir in beets and vinegar and continue to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until the beets are tender. Stir in fresh dill, reserving a few springs for garnish. Ladle into bowls and dollop with sour cream and extra dill.
To make this borscht vegan, use vegetable stock and leave the lamb out. You can garnish with a dollop of cashew cream. Soak raw cashews in water and blend with filtered water (about 1 cup) - add a splash of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust for the best cashew sour cream.