Prepare a bouillon in the usual way from 3 lbs fatty beef, using chuck, rump, or brisket. Or, use 2 lbs beef and 1 lb ham with dried mushrooms and spices. Strain the bouillon. Squeeze the excess liquid from 2 glasses of sauerkraut, chop, and fry until tender with 1 finely chopped onion and ground black pepper in 1½ spoons butter or, better yet, rendered beef or pork fat. Pour in the bouillon, add 1 spoon flour mixed with water, and boil until tender. When the meat and cabbage are done, serve the soup with the boiled sliced ham or beef.
Serve this shchi with one of the following: sour cream, fried or boiled sausages, fried thick buckwheat kasha, pancake loaf, or pancake pirozhki made with a stuffing from the mushrooms that were boiled in the shchi and buckwheat kasha.