Borscht

Claimed by some to be the ultimate hangover cure, borscht is warming and satisfying. In this version, a rich beef broth is used as the base, making for a full-flavored yet light soup.

Special equipment: If you mind your hands turning red from beet juice, you may want to don plastic gloves before handling the veggies.

Tips for Beef TipHow to Thaw Beef As with most meat, the safest way to thaw beef is in the refrigerator. Small cuts of beef can take up to 24 hours, while larger slabs can take a few days. If you’re in a pinch, frozen beef can be thawed in a bowl or container of lukewarm water. Place the bowl or container in the sink and leave under a running faucet. Never allow raw beef to thaw or sit on a counter or cutting board. Since it takes longer to thaw than most meats, it is more susceptible to bacteria growth. Read More 1 of 3 Next: How to Freeze Beef TipHow to Freeze Beef In order to effectively freeze beef, you’ll want to limit its exposure to air. This not only prevents the production of freezer burn, but also extends its shelf life to three months or longer. The best way to package beef is to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. You should then wrap the meat in a layer of aluminum foil or place it in a plastic bag. Read More 2 of 3 Next: How to Store Beef TipHow to Store Beef For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.

Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours. Read More 3 of 3 Next: How to Thaw Beef Instructions

1Combine beef, bone, garlic, carrot, celery, leek, bay leaf, peppercorns, and water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours.

2Meanwhile place unpeeled beets in a separate saucepan, cover with water, and cook over medium heat until soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and medium dice.

3Strain beef mixture, reserving broth and discarding solids. Return broth to the pot and add beets and shredded cabbage. Cook until flavors meld, about 20 minutes more. Season with salt as needed, and serve in bowls garnished with minced dill and a dollop of sour cream.

Beverage pairing: Despite its beefy savoriness, this soup wants a white wine, specifically one that will play to the dill, cabbage, and beets. A fruity and herbaceous (yes they can coexist) Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand comes to mind, something powerful and uncompromising like the Villa Maria 2007, a beautifully balanced and intensely flavorful wine that will hold its own against the hearty soup.

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