Grandma’s Borscht

My Grandma Jean was a great cook and baker. I often mention my Mom’s Mom, my Grandma Sharp as being a significant influence on my interest in baking, but my Step-Dad’s Mom – Grandma Jean – was an amazing cook, as well, with many family favourites that were often requested.

When Grandma Jean passed away in spring 2009, my Mom put together a compilation of her most loved recipes and gave it to me for Christmas that year. It is an often referenced cooking and baking resource in my library and it is where I got this recipe for borscht. I love that I have Grandma Jean’s recipe in her own handwriting.

Homemade Borscht


Grandma Jean came from a Ukrainian heritage so we were often treated to perogies, cabbage rolls, butter noodles, knishes and of course, borscht.

This is such a classic recipe. I love that borscht is made from simple ingredients…



…for the most part – as I have to say I was surprised by atleast one key ingredient – can you guess which one? (Note: it is not in the above photo.)

I did take a few creative liberties with this recipe, mostly out of necessity. I realized as I was grating the ingredients that I wouldn’t have enough room in my largest stock pot for the grated cabbage that Grandma Jean’s recipe calls for. I was really pleased with the way this turned out though.

This is definitely a family classic recipe. What’s the traditional recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation in your family?


Grandma's Borscht


Grandma’s Borscht

1 onion
2 carrots
5 beets
2 small potatoes
1 large can of diced tomatoes (low sodium)
1 large can of maple pork and beans (YUP!)
1 carton of beef stock
salt and pepper
dill pickle juice (from an existing jar from the fridge)

Peel and grate onion, beets, carrots, and potatoes and place in a large stock pot. Pour in beef stock. Add water till all the veggies are covered.

Heat over medium high till veggies are soft and tender. 20-30 minutes.

Add in diced tomatoes and pork and beans. As well as dill, salt and pepper and dill pickle juice (about 3-4 tablespoons – season to taste). Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve hot or cold. I like to add a bit of sour cream to mine. Although I just tried it with a bit of greek yogurt and I think that might be my new favourite!


3 thoughts on “Grandma’s Borscht

  1. Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader

    Oh how I love Ukrainian Borscht. I’ve been on the lookout for a good Ukrainian Borscht recipe for years.

    The first time I had Borscht, it was made by an old Ukrainian lady, and she didn’t want to share her recipe as it was an old family recipe. Ever since then I’ve been on the lookout for a good one, but all the others I’ve tried have just fallen short, but non of them have ever called for pork and beans…thinking that might be the missing ingredient.

    Thank you so much for sharing, it looks sooo good, and I’m really looking forward to making it.

    Pinning and sharing on my Facebook page. 🙂

  2. Vika Yaniff

    Я випадково натрапила на ваш блог! БОРЩ! Сиджу і всміхаюсь від вуха до вуха! Просто супер!!! Обожнюю борщ, ми теж маємо рецепт від нашої бабусі чернігівського борщу (без бобів та бульону, але із в*яленими грушами та сушеними яблуками) – смакота!
    Вітання з України! Обнімаю, Вікторія.

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