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The Hairy Bikers’ meat feast: Borscht

We’ve eaten many wonderful bowls of borscht on our travels around Europe, but this version is a bit special, and it’s really easy to make. We use beef stock and add some sliced steak before serving. Whether you’re in Poland or Peterborough, you’ll love it

Serves 4-6

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil or 15g (½oz) butter
  • 3 medium-sized beetroot (about 450g/1lb, unpeeled weight), diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 1 large waxy potato, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ltr (2¾pt) beef stock
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ a green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 2tbsp canned tomatoes

To serve

  • 300g (10½oz) sirloin steak
  • Soured cream or crème fraîche (optional)
  • 1tbsp fresh dill

Heat the oil or butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic, then sauté for a couple of minutes until the veg are well combined and coated with the fat. Add the stock and season with salt and black pepper. 

Bring the soup almost to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes. Cover the pan and leave the soup to simmer for another 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Trim the fat off the steak. Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking and cook the steak for just a couple of minutes on each side. Remove the steak and leave it to rest for 5 minutes, then slice it as thinly as you can and add any meat juices to the soup.

To serve, divide the strips of steak between the soup bowls and ladle the soup on top. Add dollops of soured cream or crème fraîche, if using, and a sprinkling of dill.

The Hairy Bikers’ Meat Feasts by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £22. Offer price £17.60 until 13 September. Order at mailbookshop.co.uk, p&p free on orders over £12. The Hairy Bikers’ Northern Exposure TV series starts on Tuesday at 8pm on BBC2. 

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