Join! 12 weeks for $1

Great homemade coffee with James Hoffmann.

In Mumbai, we learned a home-cook friendly version of Butter Chicken.

Take a cooking class with us and our instructors from around the world.

NEW - 125 simple weeknight recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

1000+ hard-to-find items from around the world.

Everything Milk Street. 12 weeks for just $1. Start your trial here.

.
Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Borsch with Duck and Prunes

Borsch with Duck and Prunes

2¾ hours

Borsch with Duck and Prunes

Free

In “Summer Kitchens,” Olia Hercules writes about the history of borsch, its importance in Ukrainian cuisine, seasonal and regional influences on the soup, and her own family’s recipes. For our adaptation of her resplendent borsch with duck and smoked pears, we opt to use prunes, a substitution she suggests. You also can replace the duck with a small rack of pork baby back ribs, if you’re so inclined. The borsch is made by simmering duck legs (or pork ribs) with aromatics to make a flavorful broth; the meat then is shredded off the bones and added to the soup at the end. As the broth simmers, aromatics for the borsch are sautéed in a separate pot so they are ready to receive the broth, which is strained directly into the aromatics. The broth requires at least 1½ hours of simmering, so that’s a good time to prep the ingredients—the aromatics, potato, cabbage—for the borsch. But wait to chop the dill garnish until later, while the finished soup stands off heat for 5 minutes, so the herbal flavor and fragrance remain fresh and strong. Serve with rye bread.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t be timid about trimming the duck, if using, of excess fat, as this will prevent the soup from becoming too greasy. Also, don’t cover the Dutch oven when simmering the broth. Allowing some of the moisture to evaporate produces a broth with greater flavor concentration and a richer body.

2¾ hours

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium (about 6 ounces) red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (1½ cups)
2 pounds duck leg quarters, trimmed, or 2½-pound rack pork baby back ribs, cut into 3 pieces
3 medium carrots, 2 roughly chopped, 1 shredded on the large holes of a box grater
2 medium yellow onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
8 ounces Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
6 pitted prunes
4 ounces Savoy cabbage or green cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
Sour cream, to serve
Chopped fresh dill, to serve
Ingredients
  • ¼

    cup red wine vinegar

  • 1

    medium (about 6 ounces) red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (1½ cups)

  • 2

    pounds duck leg quarters, trimmed, or 2½-pound rack pork baby back ribs, cut into 3 pieces

  • 3

    medium carrots, 2 roughly chopped, 1 shredded on the large holes of a box grater

  • 2

    medium yellow onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped

  • 2

    medium celery stalks, roughly chopped

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • ¾

    cup canned crushed tomatoes

  • 8

    ounces Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes

  • 6

    pitted prunes

  • 4

    ounces Savoy cabbage or green cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, chopped

  • Sour cream, to serve

  • Chopped fresh dill, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and beet; set aside. In a large pot, combine the duck legs or pork ribs, the roughly chopped carrots, the roughly chopped onion, the celery, bay, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add 10 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low, adjusting heat to maintain a simmer, until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, 1½ to 2 hours; occasionally skim off and discard the foam that rises to the surface.
  2. 02
    While the broth simmers, in a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the finely chopped onion and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shredded carrot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beet-vinegar mixture and scrape up any browned bits. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. 03
    When the duck or pork is tender, remove the pot from the heat and transfer to a plate. Set a fine-mesh strainer over the Dutch oven containing the vegetable mixture, then pour the broth through the strainer; discard the solids in the strainer. When cool enough to handle, shred the duck into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones; set the meat aside.
  4. 04
    Add the potatoes and prunes to the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about another 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, along with the shredded meat; remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with sour cream and dill.
Tip: Don’t be timid about trimming the duck, if using, of excess fat, as this will prevent the soup from becoming too greasy. Also, don’t cover the Dutch oven when simmering the broth. Allowing some of the moisture to evaporate produces a broth with greater flavor concentration and a richer body.
.
In the store
More

Mains

Down arrow

Borsch with Duck and Prunes

Get Ready to Cook

4 to 6

Servings

2¾ hours

Tip

Don’t be timid about trimming the duck, if using, of excess fat, as this will prevent the soup from becoming too greasy. Also, don’t cover the Dutch oven when simmering the broth. Allowing some of the moisture to evaporate produces a broth with greater flavor concentration and a richer body.

Ingredients
  • ¼

    cup red wine vinegar

  • 1

    medium (about 6 ounces) red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (1½ cups)

  • 2

    pounds duck leg quarters, trimmed, or 2½-pound rack pork baby back ribs, cut into 3 pieces

  • 3

    medium carrots, 2 roughly chopped, 1 shredded on the large holes of a box grater

  • 2

    medium yellow onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped

  • 2

    medium celery stalks, roughly chopped

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • ¾

    cup canned crushed tomatoes

  • 8

    ounces Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes

  • 6

    pitted prunes

  • 4

    ounces Savoy cabbage or green cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, chopped

  • Sour cream, to serve

  • Chopped fresh dill, to serve

Step 1 of 4

Make the Broth

¼
cup red wine vinegar
1
medium (about 6 ounces) red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (1½ cups)
2
pounds duck leg quarters, trimmed, or 2½-pound rack pork baby back ribs, cut into 3 pieces
2
medium carrots, 2 roughly chopped
1
medium yellow onions, 1 roughly chopped
2
medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
2
bay leaves
½
teaspoon salt
¼
teaspoon pepper
10
cups water

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and beet; set aside.


In a large pot, combine the duck legs or pork ribs, the roughly chopped carrots, the roughly chopped onion, the celery, bay, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.


Add 10 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low, adjusting heat to maintain a simmer, until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, 1½ to 2 hours; occasionally skim off and discard the foam that rises to the surface.

Step 2 of 4

Make the Onion-Carrot Mixture

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
medium yellow onions, 1 finely chopped
½
teaspoon salt
1
medium carrots, 1 shredded on the large holes of a box grater
¾
cup canned crushed tomatoes

While the broth simmers, in a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the finely chopped onion and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.


Add the shredded carrot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.


Add the beet-vinegar mixture and scrape up any browned bits. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 3 of 4

Shred the Meat

When the duck or pork is tender, remove the pot from the heat and transfer to a plate. Set a fine-mesh strainer over the Dutch oven containing the vegetable mixture, then pour the broth through the strainer; discard the solids in the strainer.


When cool enough to handle, shred the duck into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones; set the meat aside.

Step 4 of 4

Serve

8
ounces Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
6
pitted prunes
4
ounces Savoy cabbage or green cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2
medium garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Sour cream, to serve
Chopped fresh dill, to serve

Add the potatoes and prunes to the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.


Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about another 5 minutes.


Stir in the garlic, along with the shredded meat; remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes.


Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with sour cream and dill.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Mains
MAY 2022
MILK STREET KITCHIN-TO™ AND SERRATED KITCHIN-TAN™ SET

$189.90 VALUE

Success!

Thank you for participating in our monthly giveaway!

Entry Form
How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your giveaway entry as well as communications from Milk Street. We will not share or rent your email address. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.

Enter the Milk Street Giveaway
Enter the Milk Street Giveaway