Christmas Eve borsch and uszka

Tags: Polish, Christmas, soup, beet, made, Wischik
Red beet borsch is the pride of Old Polish cooking. The oldest recipe surviving comes from the beginning of the 16th century. It is on the menus of the most elegant parties in Poland.
"I believe I once scandalized her by declaring that clear soup was a more important factor in life than a clear conscience. She had very little sense of proportion." Saki, The Blind Spot
. Serves 4-5. 8 steps
sour beet juice
3 lb red beets Wash, peel and slice thinly the beets. Place them in a glass jar and cover completely with barely lukewarm water. Place a slice of whole-wheat bread on top. Cover with gauze, and place in the warmest place in the kitchen. After 4 or 5 days carefully remove the foam from the surface, and pour the juice into clean bottles. Tightly corked, this will last several months.
1 slice whole-wheat bread
lukewarm water
2-3 oz boletus dried mushrooms Cook in 2 cups water   Add beet juice, 3 pints juice for 10 pints stock. Heat the borsch until is starts to boil, but no more.
parsley root Make concentrated stock
carrots, leeks
1 onion
4 red beets
10 grains black pepper
2 grains allspice
small piece bay leaf
fresh beet grate   The colour may be corrected with the juice of a fresh beet, grated to a pulp. Flavour carefully with salt and a little sugar. The acidity may be enhanced with a wine-glass of dry red wine or lemon juice, never vinegar.
red wine or lemon juice
1 clove garlic   15 minutes before serving, add a crushed clove of garlic.
Uszka are the traditional addition to Christmas Eve borsch. Place the uszka into a soup tureen and cover with hot borsch. If the borsch is served in cups, small pierozki are served separately.