Sour, fermented beetroot juice for borscht (barszcz)...

I know that it may sound horrible, but believe me it's the key ingredient for anyone who wants to try the 'real deal' which is Eastern European beetroot soup -> borscht. It's very easy to make and beetroots are mainly what you need. There's no real philosophy to it, it's easily done, all you need is fresh, unckooed betroots. You can keep the beetroot kwas it in the kitchen, pantry, utility room, but make sure it's away from direct sunlight and not next to heater etc. You can use your beets twice for it, but the second batch of the juice will be less sour.


Beetroot juice (or sometimes called kwas) is very common, especially in Eastern Europe, but unfortunately as everything else not trendy or hip - it's slowly being forgotten. I think we should keep those traditions (not only the culinary ones) alive. Hope you'll give it a go!

P.S. The recipe and exact instructions curtsy of my Dad, who I had to call and ask for them. He's making the juice on a regular basis, so was able to tell me everything straight away.

How to make it...
Ingredients:
- 4 medium beetroots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 l tepid water


Place your beetroots in a big jar, small pot etc. add garlic, salt and your lukewarm water. Do not cover it tightly, as the air has to flow easily. You can cover your pot with a lid with some holes in it (those which allow steam to escape) or if you have a jar (or don't have a proper lid) just take a muslin cloth and cover with that, securing around with a string or elastic band.


Set aside, somewhere in your kitchen, with normal room temperature. After few days you'll notice a foam starting to form - do not touch it! It's an important part of the whole process. After the foam, you should notice a small circles of mold on the surface and that's the sign we're waiting for - your fermented beetroot juice is ready. Carefully take all the mold and foam from the surface and discard. Now you can use the sour juice as a base of your barszcz or like many people do - just drink it, bit by bit, for medicinal purpose.


Smacznego!


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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this; I'm glad your dad had the details! I could also use guidance on making the sour rye broth. Is it supposed to mold too?

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  2. I'll be making sour rye broth soon (have to call my dad too ;)), but it's not molding as the beetroot one, as long as I know - when I pubish it I'll let you know.
    Pozdrawiam!
    Anula.

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  3. Does the water should be boiled and the cooled to lukewarm or it should be tap water?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be boiled and cooled water, I wouldn't use tap water for something like this (nor for bread starter etc.). Good luck with your beets and let me know how it went!
      Pozdrawiam, Anula.

      Delete
  4. I'm glad there is a traditional way of making borscht posted on the net. Yay

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And it's soooo easy too! :) Enjoy.
      Pozdrawiam, Anula.

      Delete
  5. how long can you keep the fermented and strained juice? I made some about a month ago and realised I'd left it in the shed in a sealed jar. There's a slight surface on it but it smells the same!

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    Replies
    1. Hello, I've never kept it for so long, so it's hard to say. It might be still good, if the smell and the taste is the same. There might be a thin "film/coating" on the surface, as you say, but there shouldn't be any clusters of mold etc.! It might also be more sour (as it had more time to ferment), but it should never be bitter! If it's bitter/bitter sweet it has gone bad.
      Pozdrawiam, Anula.

      Delete
  6. Thank you SO MUCH.

    My local Polish restaurant is closed due to the pandemic and I am missing their soup. With this recipe, I can make my own.

    Greetings from Brazil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello :) my pleasure. Happy to help and even happier that you enjoy Polish cuisine! :D Stay safe and happy cooking!

      Pozdrawiam, Anula.

      Delete

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Pozdrawiam, Anula.