Barszcz Czerwony – Polish Red Borscht

A simple, yet healthy recipe. Borscht is made in Eastern Europe; from Russia to Ukraine, to Poland. Poland also has another borscht, that is white (without beets, barszcz biały).

After browsing recipes in English and Polish, the Polish variety of borscht is very simple. Some may make a fermented beet starter, also known as kwas. Others simple make it a beet soup. You can’t really add beets to anything without making a mess, so be prepared for some clean up (I don’t recommend storing leftovers of this one as this can make a mess)

There are basic ingredients in the soup, nothing fancy:

  • Beets, or beet kwas
  • Garlic
  • Onions (white or yellow)
  • Beef, Vegetable, or Chicken Broth
  • Marjoram or allspice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vinegar, or lemon juice (if omitting the kwas
  • (Optional: carrots and celery)
  1. You can either bake the beets in the oven first, or add in them chopped, raw. Either way, start with sautéing your onion.
  2. Then add garlic and beets, and any other vegetable you are using.
  3. Add stock, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoning, and simmer for as long as you would like.
  4. It is optional to top with fresh dill and/or sour cream as well.

Side note: the Polish borscht is the simplest of them all. Russians may add cabbage and meat as well, and the Ukrainians add extras as well. There is also a traditional Christmas meal in Poland where mushrooms are added to the borscht.

I hope you enjoyed reading, learning, and cooking!

Haluski

An Eastern European food typically attributed to Polish origin. It can be a vegetarian dish by not using pork, and is mostly omitted anyways. I added it for more filling. This takes about 10 minutes from starting your prep to finish. Cheap, delicious, and easy.

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Egg noodles
  • (Optional) – pork: bacon, pancetta, kielbasa
  1. Heat a pot of water and a pan with some butter and pork if using.
  2. Chop the onion then put in pan of butter and sauté for a couple minutes
  3. Add egg noodles to water then chop your cabbage
  4. Add your cabbage and some salt and pepper to pan of onions and cook until soft
  5. Add drained egg noodles.
  6. Done

Gołabki

More info about gołabki under recipe.

2 ways to go about it. You can make and cook your meat mixture formed to fit cabbage rolls or roll cabbage with raw meat then bake with tomato sauce on top. The meat mixture can fit your preference and since it is just a cabbage roll, you can do what you want with it.

  • 1 head Cabbage, boiled for 2 minutes, until leaves are soft

Meat mixture

  • Ground beef
  • Rice, cooked
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Paprika
  • S&P
  • Olive oil

Tomato sauce (I believe everyone should have their own personal sauce but canned is up to you, or follow my unmeasured recipe)

  • Tomatoes, quartered. For every 2lbs of fresh, I normally add a 16oz can with the juice.
  • Basil, big handful, chopped
  • Rosemary sprigs chopped fine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S & P
  • Olive oil
  1. Start your tomato sauce. I like roasting all of the ingredients on 375 then I peel the tomatoes after they are really soft. Then I crush them by hand and put on stove to reduce for at least 1 hour.
  2. Cook rice
  3. Boil cabbage and let it drain until ready to roll
  4. Then make your meat mixture and either preheat your oven to 375 for the gołabki, or cook the meat in the oven or on the stove.
  5. Roll the cabbage and top with sauce. If the meat is uncooked, it usually takes about 30 minutes, and if it is cooked, you just want the cabbage warm again.

Kapuśniak

A Polish sauerkraut and pork soup. The pork used can include: bacon, Kielbasa, pork ribs, ham hock, or a combination of them. The vegetables used are normally: carrots, celery, potatoes, and of course cabbage in the form of sauerkraut. Common spices used are: peppercorn, allspice, bay leaves, dill, paprika, marjoram, parsley, and salt.

Recipe. Meat 1/3 lb chopped bacon, 1 lb pork ribs cut into 1 rib pieces. Vegetables (all diced except sauerkraut) 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 1 lb sauerkraut, 1 large or 2 medium peeled potato. Spices 64 ounces of chicken stock, 3 allspice, 3 peppercorn, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp marjoram.

  1. To start: Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot and then put in the bacon, onions, carrots, and ribs. Brown the ribs slightly and crisp the bacon.
  2. Add the stock and the spices. Bring to a simmer then cook ribs to about 165, until almost fall off the bone.
  3. Put drained sauerkraut in a separate pan with 2 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp sugar; cook until brown.
  4. Add sauerkraut and potatoes to pot and finish cooking ribs, until about 190 or when ribs fall off bone.