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Traditional Ukrainian Borsch | ifoodblogger.com

Traditional Ukrainian Borsch Recipe

Prep Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12
Author Victor


  • 2 medium beets (shredded)
  • 3 cups cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (shredded)
  • 2 medium potatoes (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/3 cup parsley root (grated, optional)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

For the broth (see note):

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 lbs pork butt (fat trimmed off)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut in half)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and cut in half)

For garnish

  • sour cream (optional)
  • fresh dill, parsley and green onions (finely chopped)


  • Place the meat, water, carrot, onion, peppercorns and bay leaves in a large pot and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to very low and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Take the meat out, let cool and cut into pieces or shred. Filter the broth through cheesecloth and set aside. The broth can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.
  • Start bringing the broth back to boil over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Place beets in the skillet and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add two more tablespoons of oil, followed by onions, carrots, and parsley root. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and 1 cup of hot broth. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the meat and diced potatoes to the boiling broth and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Now, add the beets, carrots and onions and wait until borscht comes back to boil.
  • Add the shredded cabbage with chopped garlic and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add salt and pepper to taste just before the borsch is done, followed by the finely chopped greens (fresh dill, parsley and green onions). Alternatively, you may sprinkle fresh greens in the bowl just before serving.
  • Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with sour cream (optional but highly recommended), fresh greens and garlic buns (pampushki).


This amount of broth will produce a fairly thick borch. If you want to make your borsch less thick, as pictured above, increase the amount of broth by 1.5 times. Sugar, vinegar and tomato paste should be increased by the same ratio.