Hot Borscht from the Russian Tea Room

Recipe courtesy The Russian Tea Room


The first time I had borscht was at the Russian Tea Room in the early 70ís.I thought it was the most, most delicious soup of any that I had ever had.†† Since then I had had their borscht a few more times and my opinion has never changed.†† When the Russian Tea Room closed a couple of years ago, my first thought was oh no now I will not get to have the best borscht of all time any more.My second thought was that I should have tried to get their recipe from them when they were open.


A few weeks ago I was checking out the web, and I came across this recipe.First thing I wanted to do was go ahead and make it.But I realized that I did not have all the ingredients and this was one recipe that I was not going to change in any way at all.†† No I have not had a chance to try it out yet.†† My knee has been not cooperating and I have had an upper respiratory infection for the last two weeks.I was going to wait and check this out before I gave the recipe to you but decided that maybe I should let you try it yourself.


So here it is,try it, let me know if you think it is yummy.Any of you who have had this Borscht at The Russian Tea Room can compare, in your memory, and let me know.But you have to make it exactly as it is.No substitutions, no deletions.BE EXACT as you would if you were making a cake!


Enjoy.If you can, let me know by emailing me at


Recipe Summary

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


This recipe is in 3 parts: meat bouillon, beet broth, and vegetables.



Meat Bouillon Ingredients:

5 ounces short rib

5 ounces pork butt

5 ounces duck legs

1/2 bunch parsley

5 to 6 whole juniper berries

20 whole cloves

1 diced onion

1 diced carrot

1 garlic, chopped

1 leek, chopped

4 whole peppercorns

2 laurel or bay leaves



Place all ingredients in a large pot with sufficient water to cover them. Add a pinch of salt, and cook on low heat for 4 hours. Skim off fat from the top and discard. Remove approximately 1 cup of meat to use later as garnish for top of dish.


Beet Broth Ingredients:

5 ounces beets, washed

1 teaspoon pickling spice

5 ounces white vinegar

5 ounces sugar

1/4-ounce thyme

2 laurel or bay leaves


Place beets in enough water to cover them and slowly simmer for 40 minutes, (do not boil.) Add remaining beet broth ingredients. Simmer on lowest heat for 3 to 4 hours. Peel beets,julienne and set aside. Strain the broth from the beets and keep them separately.


Vegetable Ingredients:

4 strips finely-cut bacon

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, cut julienne

1 carrot, cut julienne

1 cup chopped green cabbage

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon tarragon

1 teaspoon dill

Garnishes: shredded short rib, pork butt and duck legs, plus sour cream and dill


Fry the bacon in a large pot in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until crispy. Discard bacon; only the fat is needed. To the bacon fat, add 2 tablespoons butter and the onion, carrot, cabbage and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft. Add tarragon and dill. Add equal parts of meat bouillon and beet broth. Add cooked beets. Simmer for 15 minutes. Garnish with shredded meat, sour cream and dill.