It has been quite a while since I wanted to make Ukrainian borscht. It’s hard to believe that it would be possible to make a borscht while on the AIP, as tomatoes and potatoes are not allowed and can be added only after a leaky gut is completely healed (reintroductory stage 4 on the autoimmune protocol). However, this winter I discovered arrowroot tubers and, curious by nature, I boiled them in order to taste them and I was pleasingly surprised to discover that their taste was very similar to potatoes! In terms of a substitute for tomatoes I found that pumpkin with vinegar can do the trick.
Traditional borscht preparation can be pretty laborious if one’s speed to dice vegetables is not superior. This being said, I still prefer to cook a borscht traditionally, as raw vegetables release more juices to the borscht making it heartier, besides diced vegetables look kind of cool in a borscht. If you don’t want to spend too much time dicing vegetables (which is understandable!), you can pre-steam carrots, beets and butternut squash, which makes them easier to handle or shred them in a food processor.
- 1 pound stew meat (beef or pork)
- 8 arrowroot tubers*, peeled and diced
- ½ pound beets**, peeled and diced
- ½ pound butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 to 3 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ACV
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 8 cups bone broth or water
- 2 tablespoons lard or duck fat
- 2 tablespoons dried herbal mix***
- 3 bay leaves
- Handful of fresh herbs (parsley or dill)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Black pepper (omit if on the AIP)
- Set the instant pot to sauté “normal” function.
- As soon as the instant pot gets hot, add the fat, onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Next add the meat and brown it for a couple of more minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Next add the bone broth, all the vegetables (except the cabbage), balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, ground ginger, dry herbs, and bay leaves. Close the lid and pressure cook for 20 minutes, then let it seat for about 15 minutes.
- As soon as the time has elapsed, release the lid, put on sauté "normal" function, add the cabbage, ACV, lemon juice and salt and heat until boiling resumes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and serve!
**Coat your hands with oil before handling beets to minimize staining or wear protective gloves
***I used a mix of thyme, rosemary and sage.