Wintry Borscht


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

In eight hours, not only will the beef have become meltingly tender but the beets will have turned a beautiful pale blush and given much of their original color to the intensely flavorful broth.


  • pounds (680 g) beef stew meat, in 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 beets about inches (9 cm) in diameter, with tops
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 cups (960 ml) beef stock or water, or a combination
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About ¼ cup (13 g) chopped fresh dill



Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the beef in one layer (or close to it). Cook, turning occasionally, until the pieces are nicely browned on one or two sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker.

To the skillet, add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in ½ cup (120 ml) water, scraping up any browned bits, then pour the onion and liquid into the cooker.

Cut the tops from the beets and wash the greens well. Cut the stems away from the leaves and save them for pickled beet stems, if you’d like. Cut the leaves crosswise into ½-inch (12-mm) ribbons and put them in the refrigerator. Peel the beets and cut them into quarters, then into ½-inch (12-mm) slices. Cut the potato the same way, and cut the carrots into ¾-inch (2-cm) pieces.

Add the beets, potato, carrots, stock, and bay leaf to the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Turn the cooker to high. Fold the beet greens into the borscht and season the broth with salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and cook until the greens are just tender, 15 to 30 minutes. Serve, with the dill for sprinkling.