Sour schi

Flora S.


  • 2 cups Russian pickled cabbage kvashenaja kapusta; (available in Russian stores), drained, juice reserved
  • 1-1/2 lb beef short ribs*
  • 1 slice smoked bacon about 3 oz.
  • 4-5 dry shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms such as borowiks, porcini, chanterelles, or shiitakes, sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 small onion whole, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot julienned
  • 1 small carrot whole, peeled
  • 4-5 parsley stalks
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced dill
  • vegetable oil
  • sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add short ribs to the pot. Add a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the scum. Add smoked bacon, small onion, small carrot, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, parlsey stalks and dry mushrooms.
  • Cover and keep at a bare simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the short ribs and set aside.
  • Strain the stock through multi-layered cheese cloth and discard the solids. Strain fat from the top. (The stock can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated, which makes fat removal easier.)
  • Bring the strained stock to a simmer. Reserve approximately 2 cups of stock and set aside. Saute chopped onions and julienned carrots in vegetable oil until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Add pickled cabbage, stir, and saute, covered, for 10 more minutes.
  • Add to the stock in the pot along with reserved cabbage juice.
  • Add mushrooms and let simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Warm butter over medium heat and quickly sift in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture (roux) is dark blond in color.
  • Add reserved stock in a thin stream, whisking vigorously.
  • Whisk the resulting sauce into the soup. Adjust the salt and season generously with pepper.
  • Return the short ribs to the soup and let warm through for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in dill just before serving.
  • Serve with sour cream on the side.


*Oxtails are also a good choice of meat, but they require longer cooking."

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