Russian Pot Boil

DSC_0340RECIPE #447, DAY #618


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Russian Cabbage Borscht” from Bert Greene’s Kitchen Bouquets. Still trying out the new recipe book

TIMING: 4 ½ hours


TOOLS: A soup pot and a platter, pretty much

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: If you make your family a roast with potatoes and a vegetable-heavy cabbage soup for dinner, you can sing it from the rooftops. Some people, it’s true, have too much meat—let alone red meat—in their diet, but if you can spare some room for a reasonable serving of protein and nutrient-dense meat, then do it.

DSC_0343EXPERIENCE: I kind of knew what I was getting into when I cooked up this pot of “borscht”—I told my family it was a roast. But that was only the half of it. When your done cooking everything and separate things out, you have a lump of beef which for all intents and purposes appears to be a most tender and succulent roast, some boiled potatoes which pair perfectly with sour cream and butter, and a pot of cabbage soup. It makes an excellent, weeknight, two-course dinner.

If you like a good roast beef and happen also to enjoy cabbage soup, I would look no further.

DSC_0345NOTES: If you just can’t imagine soup with a roast, then you could make this two dinners, easy. Just save the soup for the next night. Kevin called it the “best roast I’ve ever had.” Technically, not a roast, but we’ll take it.


  1. In the bottom of a nice Dutch oven, arrange ½ sliced onion and ½ shredded cabbage. Place a 2 pound (up to 4 pounds) beef brisket on top (removed of excess fat). Cover with another ½ sliced onion and ½ shredded cabbage.
  2. Add 2 cups beef broth, then enough cool water to cover the meat and veggies. Add 30 ounces canned tomatoes, 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 diced green apple, ¼ cup golden raisins, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and a pinch of allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer very low for 3 ½ hours.
  3. Add 3 pounds new potatoes to the pot and cook another 20 minutes. Test for tenderness on the potatoes and meat.
  4. Remove the meat and potatoes to a platter. Tent with foil and let the meat rest 10-15 minutes. Serve the platter of food with butter, sour cream, and bowls of the soup.


Serve with butter and sour cream. Some sort of Russian drink would be fun.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: The soup warms up in a soup pan, like a dream (which is good, because there is a lot of it). The meat and potatoes also warm well if you have any left, but are better the first time around. On the other hand, you’re going to love it so much you probably won’t mind. I warmed up the meat and potatoes in the soup and that was a perfect lunch.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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