16 pounds beef shin (AKA shank, like for braising)
12 quarts water
8 small onions or 7 large onions, UNPEELED and cut in half
16 med carrots, peeled—8 quartered and 8 of them GRATED
24 med red beets, scrubbed (if they are huge, like ours usually are, just 20)
3 cups tomato paste
32 medium garlic cloves, smashed
4 pounds red cabbage, shredded
16 tomatoes (from a can, crushed up, or fresh, diced)
8 bay leaves
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup plus 5 TB sugar
8 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” dice, cooked in boiling salt water until tender (don’t overcook though because they go back in soup later)
6 TB salt
2 TB pepper
2 ½ cups chopped dill
Cover beef shins with water in a large pot, stir in the unpeeled onion and quartered carrot and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam or scum or fat. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve, should be about 10 quarts. Reserve the meat.
Return the beef and liquid to a pan and bring to a boil. Add beets and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer beets for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces.
Remove beets and allow to cool. Peel and coarsely grate the beets. Return them to soup.
Dissolve tomato paste in a few cups of the broth and stir it back into pot. Stir in garlic, GRATED carrots, cabbage, tomato, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar and bring to a boil.
Cook for two hours at a simmer. Remove meat. Discard the bone and slice meat into bite size chunks. Put back in soup along with cubed potatoes, salt, pepper and dill.
Boil for 5 more minutes and VOILA!
This recipe has been modified from a New York Times Recipe