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Russian Winter Borscht

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

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!