Ukrainian native shares borscht recipe for popular dish from home country; Cleveland Cooks

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 5:21 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ukrainian-born Alla Yakimiv’s heart breaks seeing the images coming out of her native country.

She still has extended family there and is working with her community to send support and aid to those back in her homeland as they endure an invasion by the Russians.

This weekend, she’ll be selling items at both of her Macaron Tea Room locations, in Broadview Heights and Woodmere, with proceeds going to a local Ukrainian church’s efforts to aid the people of Ukraine.

To celebrate her Ukrainian culture, Yakimiv shared her method for making borscht.

She’s never written down a recipe, so on this week’s Cleveland Cooks, we worked to break it down.

She started by making the broth using water, beef short ribs, a handful of whole garlic cloves, four bay leaves and Vegeta, what she calls the “European Mrs. Dash.” After the ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, about 90 minutes, she added carrots, cubed golden potatoes and about two cups of sauerkraut.

While those simmer in the broth, she peeled and sliced about four to five cups of beets in to strips. She sautéed those in a separate frying pan until they were fork tender, then she added about one cup of ketchup and continued to cook the beets down until they darkened a bit. Yakimiv then introduced the beets/ketchup mixture to the soup pot and stirred.

She seasoned the soup with a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon and added about 1/4 cup of vinegar.

To finish, she adds thinly sliced onions that have been browned, along with shredded carrots that have been cooked down with the onions. She calls this mixture the “gravy” for the soup.

Traditionally she serves it with a teaspoon of sour cream, and optionally sweet onions soaked in vinegar.

To hear more from Yakimiv about the conflict in her homeland watch Jim Nelson’s story.

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