Borscht and Ukrainian Pampushky

Serves 2-3
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Start the night before: place 225ml lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon caster sugar in a large glass bowl. Add 200g bakers flour and 8g dried yeast. Stir until well combined. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in the fridge overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • For the Borscht, remove the meat from the short ribs, trim away any sinew and excess fat and cut into chunks. Season the meat and bones with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • For the stock base, heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and the bones and cook until browned all over. Add 2 stalks celery, 1 diced carrot, 1 quartered onion, 1 bulb garlic, half a bunch of dill and parsley, 4 bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables are golden and soft. Add the 1.5L stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Cover with a lid and keep hot.
  • To cook the beef, place beef pieces, remaining 1.5L stock, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and half bunch dill and parsley and bay leaves, salt and pepper into a pressure cooker and cook under high pressure until beef is tender, about 30-35 minutes. Release the pressure, remove lid and allow beef to cool slightly in the liquid.
  • In the meantime, peel and shred the beetroot and set aside. Place 1 tablespoon sunflower oil into a large saucepan over low heat. Once hot, add the beetroot and cook, stirring, until mostly tender. Add tomato paste and cook until dark and rich. Add ½ bulb garlic (minced), salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
  • In the meantime, prepare the zazharka - heat a small frypan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and when hot, add 1 grated carrot and 1 diced onion. Cook until lightly caramelised, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • When beetroot is soft, ladle in the hot stock base, adding more garlic and salt, to taste, as you go.
  • Add the potato and bring to a simmer. Add zazharka, half bunch dill (finely chopped) and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add the cooked beef, 1/3 remaining bunch chopped dill and more garlic to taste. Add additional liquid from the pressure cooker if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add lemon juice and garlic to taste. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid to keep hot.
  • Chop ½ remaining bunch dill before serving.
  • For the Pampushky, add 160-175g flour and 3 teaspoons salt to the yeast mixture. Mix then knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in an electric mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
  • Cut the dough into 7-8 evenly sized pieces. Roll on the bench into balls.
  • Oil a 20cm cast iron pan with sunflower oil and arrange the dough balls in the pan. Cover with oiled cling film and set aside in a warm place to prove until approximately doubled in size, about 30-35 minutes.
  • For the herb garlic oil, combine sunflower oil, dill, parsley, garlic and a little salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Once proofed, brush the surface with egg wash. Bake until well risen and deep golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the herb garlic oil.
  • Serve with hot Borscht.

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