This soup was outrageously good, though I'm the only one who ate it. Max pigged out before dinner on dried mango and an avocado. Dylan snacked on other random goodies and then told me that the soup wasn't any good. Apparently, my borscht has too many beets in it. Ungrateful little wretch, that girl is.
But... more for me, and I'm looking forward to heating up leftovers for lunch. The recipe was inspired by one that I found on eGullet, but I changed it up quite a bit. Here is my version:
1.5 pounds beef shank
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 slice bacon, chopped
1/2 head small cabbage, sliced thinly
1 large (or 2 small) onion, chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
1 box chicken stock
4 tablespoons red wine
3 beets, peeled and cut into chunky matchsticks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunky matchsticks
1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 sprigs parsley
small red potatoes
Pour oil into a small roasting pan. Salt and pepper the shanks and cook them at 375 for about 30 minutes, turning once. You want them to be nice and brown.
While the shanks are cooking, place the bacon in a big Dutch oven with the heat on medium high. When it starts to brown and release its fat, add the cabbage.
Cook the cabbage until it is very wilty and starts to color. Add the onion and cook that until it is also starting to brown. Add the mushrooms. Once those soften a bit, add the stock and wine. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Add the beets, parsnips, tomatoes and parsley.
Pull the shanks from the oven and place them into the soup. (Don't add the oil that has been released.)
Turn the heat to low and cook the soup for at least two hours. Remove the shanks from the pot and cut off the meat. Shred it into small bits and add it back to the pot. (The marrow from the bones will most likely be gone. It is now in the soup and adding a ton of wonderful flavor.)
Cook the soup for a little while longer, adding some water if it is too thick for your taste. While it is still cooking, boil the red potatoes in heavily salted water.
To serve, place a potato in the bottom of a bowl. Mash it a bit with your pork. Add the soup, and top with a healthy dollop of sour cream and some dill. Enjoy!