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Recipe: Ukrainian Borsch With Pork Ribs

Chef Ievgen Klopotenko offers "Sunday Morning" viewers his "unbelievably fragrant and tasty" variation on traditional Ukrainian fare.

"I can talk about borsch for hours," he writes on his website, "It's no secret that almost every family has its own special borsch recipe. Some of us just can't imagine it without beans, while others prefer to cook it without cabbage. All these options have a right to exist, because there is no single "correct" recipe, just hundreds of fascinating variations."

This traditional Ukrainian borsch with pork ribs, Klopotenko says, is "unbelievably fragrant and tasty. The Ukrainian soul lives in this dish, and I want you to feel it."

To watch chef Klopotenko prepare Ukrainian Borsch With Pork Ribs click on the video player below:

Ukrainian Borshch with pork ribs | Ukrainian cuisine | Ievgen Klopotenko by Ievgen Klopotenko - Chef from Ukraine on YouTube

Ukrainian Borsch With Pork Ribs
By Ievgen Klopotenko

Time: 1 hours 30 mins.
Serves: 8 


400-500 g (14-17 oz.) pork ribs
2 beets
2 tomatoes
¼ celery root
¼ head of cabbage
3-4 potatoes
1-2 carrots
1 onion
1-2 smoked dried pears
2 bay leaves
3 cloves allspice
1 head of garlic
1 sweet bell pepper
200 ml (7 oz.) tomato juice
30 g (2 1/3 tbsp) unsalted butter
2 tbsp. tomato paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (395°F). In an ovenproof dish, bake the pork ribs for about 30 minutes or until a golden crust forms. Meanwhile, wash and roughly chop the celery root. There is no need to peel it. Cut up the carrots into chunks of about the same size as the celery pieces. Transfer the baked ribs into a large pot, add about 3 liters (3 quarts) of water. Add the celery and carrot chunks, and half an unpeeled onion. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  2. Make the sauteed vegetable base – this is what makes any borsch so flavorful. Dice the sweet bell pepper. Finely dice the tomatoes and the other half of the onion.
  3. Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the vegetables until they soften. Add 200 ml (7 oz.) tomato juice and about 2 tbsp tomato paste and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Using a box grater, shred one of the beetroots. Add it to the sauteed vegetables and keep cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Using a food processor with a juicing attachment, squeeze the juice out of the other beet (alternatively, you can simply grate it using the fine attachment on your box grater). Add the beet juice or purée and the vegetables into the pot with the ribs and celery, along with the allspice and bay leaves. Salt to taste.
  6. Wash and peel 3-4 potatoes.
  7. Dice them roughly and add into the pot with the rib broth. Cut the head of garlic in half and add to the pot.
  8. Shred the cabbage and set it aside – we will add it to the borsch almost at the very end.
  9. If you like, you can add some canned white beans to the borsch at this point.
  10. Add the smoked dried pears to the pot. They will enhance the borsch with their wonderful smoky flavor.
  11. Once all of the ingredients have cooked through and are tender, add the shredded cabbage to the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes and take the borsch off the heat. Let it rest for at least half an hour before serving with sour cream and finely chopped dill. Keep the borsch in the fridge and remember that it will become even more delicious overnight.

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Check out the "Sunday Morning" 2022 Food Issue Recipe Index for more menu suggestions, from all of the chefs, cookbook authors, flood writers and restaurateurs featured on our program.

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