River Cottage Australia



This Eastern European dish finds a new home in Tilba, using the season's most colourful vegetable.


  • Olive oil

  • 1 large brown onion, diced

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • ½ head garlic

  • 2 large beetroots, 1 cut into thick matchsticks, 1 grated

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 125g tomato paste

  • 400g passata

  • 1.5L chicken stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp vegemite

  • 200g sauerkraut

  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • ½ bunch of dill, roughly chopped

  • 200g freshly podded peas

  • To serve:

  • Sour cream

  • Dill, roughly chopped

  • Crusty bread

  • Chilled vodka


  • 1.

    In a heavy based saucepan, add a splash of olive oil and gently fry your onions, carrots and celery until softened.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, make a garlic paste. Peel the garlic bulbs and transfer to a mortar and pestle with a dash of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Grind the bulbs of garlic to make a paste.

  • 3.

    Add the garlic paste to the vegetables. Stir, and cook for two minutes.

  • 4.

    Add your thick beetroot matchsticks and butter, and fry until the beets have softened and coloured the other vegetables.

  • 5.

    Add the tomato paste and passata. Stir, and cook gently for 5 minutes until it bubbles and the tomato paste is cooked out. 

  • 6.

    Add the grated beets, chicken stock, bay leaves and vegemite.

  • 7.

    For the sour taste, add sauerkraut, white vinegar and lemon juice. Add half of the chopped dill and simmer for 45 minutes.

  • 8.

    Once borscht is cooked and vegetables have softened, add the peas and simmer for a further two minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  • 9.

    Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of dill, some crusty bread and a chilled shot of vodka

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