Oxtail Borscht Soup

Borscht or barzcz is type of soup using beetroot as its ingredient, there are several variations of this dish and the most popular ones are the Eastern European (Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine) variant where it uses beetroot as its main ingredient and the Asian variant where it is made out of tomatoes and beetroot.  While most of the borscht variants are served hot in Lithuania it is served cold and sour cream is added giving it a unique vivid pink colour.

This dish existed since the medieval times and old recipes suggest that beet was never its main component but barszcz (European cow parsnip).  This dish was a staple food of poor people in Russia during those times as barszcz was so cheap during those times.  It started to become popular and was introduced to the rest of Europe, the ingredients then slowly changed and beet was introduced as a replacement for the cow parsnip, meat such as beef and chicken was also added and the rest was history.

For today we will be making the Asian version served with big chunks of ox tail, this is really good on its own as well as with rice.

Oxtail Borscht Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 kg oxtails
  • 3 pcs beet root, cubed
  • 2 starchy potatoes, cubed
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • 3 stalks celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage, chopped
  • 4 pcs tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4-5 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt
  • oil
  1. In a pot add water and the oxtail, bring it to a boil then turn heat off.  Rinse oxtail with running water then set aside. (This process eliminates the scum)
  2. In a heavy skillet add oil then brown oxtail on all sides.  Remove oxtail then set aside.
  3. In a large stock pot add oil then sauce onions and celery until soft.
  4. Add the oxtail, beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and dried basil bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.  Check regularly and add water if needed.
  5. Add the beet root, potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  Bring back to a boil then simmer in low heat for 30 - 45 more minutes or until meat is tender.
  6. Add paprika and sugar, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn heat off then serve.



No Responses

  1. I really like borscht and love that you included oxtails. Bravo!

  2. peachkins says:

    I never liked beets that much but this soup looks hearty and delicious!

  3. Tessa says:

    I did not know that there was an Asian version of borscht. This look very hearty and delicious!

  4. I would love this East European dish. Looks very robust in flavor and of course the best part is the ox tail. Have a good week, Raymund! 🙂

  5. Kristy says:

    As much as I want to like beets, I just can’t get myself to enjoy them. That said, I do think they look so pretty when cooked up and this soup looks very enticing. 😉

  6. Oxtail, love! Borscht, double love! I’m crazy for that beautiful braise and gelatinous melting meat. Combined with the beetroot and spices, it must be a winner combo too 🙂

  7. Eha says:

    This one I just have to try. Coming from Estonia, just a hop-skip-and jump from Lithuania, daresay our recipes were quite similar: I certainly had it both hot and cold as a child there. Never knew of this version, so do want to compare tastes 🙂 !

  8. mjskit says:

    Your picture almost makes me want to eat two of my least favorite things – oxtail and beets. 🙂 I would love to like beets and I probably haven’t given oxtail a real chance (a couple of bad experiences). This really does look like a great stewlike dish!

  9. Sammie says:

    What a beautiful looking stew Raymund!! I love your oxtail stews! Tried your kare kare last time and it was so delicious! Can’t wait to try this one too!! 🙂

  10. Yes, I love anything ox tail! Ox tail makes any soup or stew so deliciously unctuous and flavourful!

  11. foodjaunts says:

    I’d really like to give this a shot with turnips. Unfortunately I’ve tried beets every which way and I just can’t get behind them 🙁 It looks so delicious in the bowl though with the oxtail and all the other veggies!

  12. I never knew the origins of borsch, Ray ! As always, thanks for the lesson 🙂

  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I need to make oxtail soup with beets in it (I’ve only tried HK version). This looks so good! It’s going to be cold soon and I have to prepare all kinds of soup and stew dishes to survive in fall/winter while you guys enjoy nice summer BBQ… 😉

  14. My Mum always cooked barszcz on beef bones but I like that there is a little meat on the bone too… so hearty and delish!

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