The recipe is from Veselka, the famous Ukranian deli in the East Village of Manhattan. The deli was featured in one of my favorite movies, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The title characters take refuge from the night’s madness while downing a pile of pierogis. After reading the pierogi recipes in the cookbook, I can’t wait to try some of their fillings.
as seen on WOR710.com
- To make the “beet water,” roughly chop 2 pounds of the beets (select the smaller ones), preferably in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Place the chopped beets in a large stockpot. Add 10 cups of water and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
- Place the stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours. (If it seems like the liquid is evaporating too quickly, you may need to cover the pot partially with an off set lid.) The beets should be soft and the liquid bright red.
- Strain the liquid, pressing the cooked beets against the side of the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp or reserve to make beet salad. Set aside the beet water. You should have just about 4 cups.
- Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 pound of whole beets in a separate large stockpot.
- Add just enough water to cover the beets. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the beets are tender- firm, about 40 minutes. Add 1 Tbs white vinegar and set the pot aside to cool.
- When the whole cooked beets are cool enough to handle, peel them; the skins should slip off easily. If not, use a peeler. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Be careful, because the beets will be slippery.
- To make the broth, place the pork butt in a large stockpot and add the beef stock. If necessary, add a little more stock or water to cover. Add the bay leaf, allspice berries, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the meat is tender and beginning to fall apart, about 3 hours. Remove the pork from the stock and set aside to cool. Save the stock. When the pork is cool enough to handle, cut the meat into 1 ⁄2- inch cubes. Strain the stock and discard the aromatics. Reserve the cubed meat and 4 cups of the broth.
- To cook the vegetables, place the carrots, celery and meat broth in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots and celery are just tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage and potatoes and continue to cook until the potatoes and carrots are easily pierced with a pairing knife but keep their shape, about 20 additional minutes. Add the lima beans and cook for 5 additional minutes, just to meld the flavors. Gradually add the remaining 7 tablespoons white vinegar, tasting between additions and stopping when the flavor is to your liking. Turn heat down to low. Add the “beet water,” cubed pork, and grated beets. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Season with salt if necessary and serve. Garnish with fresh chopped dill and a dollop of sour cream.