Borscht - Poland


Christmas dinner in Poland is served as supper on Christmas Eve and is known as Kolacja Wigilijna. It is a Polish tradition that noone can eat until the first star is in the sky.

Borscht is a soup bursting with flavour and has proved to be popular in many Eastern European countries, particularly Poland. It is served as part of the traditional Polish Christmas feast which usually consists of 12 dishes!

Prep time: 15-20 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Serves: 6

1 ½ litres beef stock
1 lb beef shank
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
800g raw beetroot, peeled and diced
250g thinly sliced cabbage
75g chopped fresh dill
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
225g sour cream
Salt and pepper, to season

To make this vegetarian, simply leave the beef out and replace beef stock with vegetable stock


  • In a large saucepan, add 750ml of the stock, the beef shank and the onion and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Turn down the heat, cover and leave to simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the beef is tender. Remove from heat.
  • Remove the beef from the saucepan and strip the meat away from any bone or fat. Roughly chop the meat, and then chill in the refrigerator.
  • Allow the broth to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. The fat will have risen to the top, and should be discarded.
  • In another large saucepan, heat the oil over a low heat then gently fry the garlic, celery, carrot and potato for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the beetroot and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the chilled broth to the saucepan and season. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until everything is tender.
  • Add the meat to the saucepan, along with the cabbage and 50g of the dill. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes then add the vinegar and any extra seasoning you may need.
  • Serve warm and garnish with sour cream and some fresh dill.