My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gruner Borscht and Kuchle--

Gruner Borscht 
A Russian soup made famous in our family by Oma - Emma--my mother-in-law.
Not sure I'll ever be able to match the skills of her cooking but here is an attempt at the 
"recipe" and I hold that term lightly because measuring and timing are optional...

Let's start with some
Beef Bones with some good fat and beef on them 

Put water in a pot with the bones
with 2 Bay Leaves
4 hours or so

wash and cut up
Swiss Chard
Green Onions
(the dill pictured here comes a little later)

Put in pot of boiling water for just a few minutes
Oma doesn't really know why she does this step so I'm just putting it in here cuz it's what she does. 
(not the same pot as soup)

then add to pot with beef bones

chop the following vegis and add to pot
(she didn't drain any of the fat off or anything--no wonder this is so yummy)
 1/2 yellow onion
tiny slices of 1 large carrot
2 ribs of celery

approx. 2 hours later she added 
apx 1 c. uncooked barley
4 peeled and chopped potatoes
(hard boiled eggs come at the end)

Oma blowing away the fat on top of the soup to see if it's acceptable... or if it needs to be removed.
We took the beef bones/fat out at about this point and chopped up the remaining meat to be added back in.  Also tossed in some salt at this point--she is not a salt lover so we don't over salt this soup.  Salt to your taste.

Then in goes the chopped up dill and the house fills with the classic smells of Gruner Borscht.

Right at the tail end before serving we added the 4 slice, hard boiled eggs to the pot 

And then there is the
a "must have" alongside this yummy soup
It's like eating a less-sugary fried donut with your soup. 
Totally YUMMY!
Ingredient list:
(measurements not precise -- one of those "till it feels right" things
(quotes are from Oma)
3c. Flour
1c. "or so" Milk
1/4 c. Sugar
"not even a teaspon" salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
oil ("I don't measure it")-I'm gonna guess 2Tbs?
"you will have to figure this out when you make it. If it's not enough you will have to fix it next time..." --Oma

Mix dough with your hands--but there ain't nothin like the love of these hands and how many Kuchle they have made in their day--

Kneed the dough till it "feels right"--let it sit until right before you are going to eat the soup.

Roll out dough and cut into smallesh pieces like this:

 Notice how she puts 2 slits in them?  That is so you can sort of fold the dough into itself for the frying process.

 this is her folding technique, but really it's not a precise thing, just so it fries well...

 Drop into hot oil-I used peanut oil worked well.

Fry like a donut.  
Ok...I got scolded all night long that these 'were not donuts' but I put sugar on mine after they are cooked and they are stinkin' yummy!  Call them what you want..
Kuchle or Donut...
They are delish!

Oma 'n me frying away...

I have so much to learn...

I sprinkled 1/2 with sugar and left the rest without for those "purests"....

 and the table is set...
Notice the salad on the table?
That was "my" addition to dinner.
NOBODY touched it!!!  lol

And the final step to the Gruner Borsht...
At the table you can add
a little bit of vinegar (ie apple cidar vinegar or red wine vinegar)
a dolop of sour cream
to your individual bowl.
This is the soup without anything in it...

This is what it looks like when it is "done up right"

What could be better than fried dough pieces (donuts) with this amazing soup????

Even the teenagers plowed through several bowls...
no way we are getting their attention for a camera...

LOVE days like this.
Love learning from the Master
Love sharing a meal with family and friends
Love taking life and savoring the good things!

and tomorrow?
Lots of leftovers
(except the Kuchle of course--may have to make some fresh ones)

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