Russian pickled cabbage
kvashenaja kapusta; (available in Russian stores), drained, juice reserved
beef short ribs*
about 3 oz.
dry shiitake mushrooms
such as borowiks, porcini, chanterelles, or shiitakes, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
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."