Bel Kaufman's Russian Borscht
2 1/2 or 3 pounds boiling beef (chuck)
2 marrow bones
About 6 cups water
12 ounces V-8 juice
2 bay leaves
2 pinches of basil
1 clove of garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon monosodium glutamate
6 bruised peppercorns
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks of celery and leaves, cut in one inch pieces
1 medium sweet white onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 small green pepper, diced
1 pound can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces
1 pound can pickled beets, drained and cut in large pieces
1 pound can shoestring beets, undrained
1/2 cup minced parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Put meat and bones in an 8-quart soup pot. Add enough water to barely cover the bones. Bring to a boil, skim off foam. Add V-8 juice, bay leaves, basil, garlic, salt, monosodium glutamate, peppercorns and rest of water. Bring to a boil, add carrots, celery, onion and leek. Cover, simmer 1 1/4 hours.
Add green pepper, tomatoes, lemon juice and sugar. Cook 30 minutes longer. Add cabbage, potatoes, and beets; cook 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add undrained shoestring beets, parsley and dill; simmer 20 minutes.
Remove meat to platter, cut in thick slices, put back in soup pot. Serve borscht piping hot with side dish of chilled sour cream and slices of dark Russian bread spread with sweet butter. Serves 12-15.