Our son made borscht for us when we visited him and his bride in Missoula, Montana last fall. It was delicious. So I found Emeril Lagasse's recipe on the web and reworked it so I could eat it on my weight loss plan.
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
1 ½ pound lean beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup diced onion
1 rib celery, minced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 Tablespoons fake bacon bits
2 bay leaves
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds red beets, tops removed, roasted and grated
6-8 cups shredded green cabbage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt bacon grease in Dutch oven over high heat; add the beef and cook, stirring, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To the fat in the pan, add the onions and carrots, cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic oregano, and bay leaves and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Return the meat to the pot and add the water, fake bacon, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place the beets in a large piece of foil. Roast in oven until tender and can be pierced easily with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Trim the stem and root ends and remove the skins. Coarsely grate and set aside.
When the meat is tender and falling apart, add the beets and cabbage. Simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes. Season with additional red wine vinegar, salt and freshly grown black pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls, top with a Tablespoon of plain yogurt.