Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hong Kong Style Borscht

My personal "Just wing it" recipes... (it's in fact my own version of HK-style Borscht adapted from about 8 different Borscht recipes)

My Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 1kg of beef brisket
  • 1 small or half large cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 small onions
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 heaped tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • water, cooking oil, salt & white pepper

My Method: 
  1. Wash and then chop vegetables into large chunks.
  2. Parboil beef by placing it in pressure cooker and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat. Continue to boil vigorously for 2 minutes to allow impurities to be released.
  3. Dump water and rinse the beef with hot water in sink. Scrub the pressure cooker to remove any residue.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of oil into the pressure cooker. Stir fry onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add all other vegetables and the beef in.
  5. Add 1.2 litre of water or until the water level reaches the Max1 (lower maximum) mark inside the pressure cooker. Add bay leaf and tomato paste.
  6. Cover and lock the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure setting has been set to "2" (which has a higher cooking temperature at 116C). Cook over high heat until the green mark which indicates the right pressure has been reached. (about 10 minutes).
  7. Turn to medium heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait until the cooker de-pressurizes itself naturally (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper before serving.

One-line Verdict:
A super quick and easy way to make a tasty soup in less than 45 minutes.

    • Hong Kong style Borscht (港式羅宋湯) is my hubby's favourite so I make it almost every week. I am not an avid fan of soup nor tomato but I think this soup tastes pretty good. It makes a very healthy and refreshing supper when we are carbohydrate-overloaded on that day.
    • I use a Fissler Vitavit Comfort Pressure Cooker (6L/22cm). From washing ingredients to serving, it takes about 45 minutes while the actual "over the heat" time is only about 20 minutes. Without a pressure cooker, the soup shall take about 2 hours to make.
    • Brisket, with stronger and meatier flavour, indeed tastes better than ordinary casserole beef. However I don't think the difference can justify an extra £4!
    • For extra carbohydrates, 2 medium potatoes,1 medium parsnip or 1 small swede can be added but they would make the soup a bit muddy.
    • Approximate cost of the main ingredients: £9 (brisket) or £5 (casserole beef)

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