Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
2 pounds short ribs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges or 1 28 or 35 ounce can
Italian plum tomatoes
2 pounds cabbage, cored and shredded
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 to 3 pounds potatoes, boiled and peeled
snipped fresh dill
Sprinkle the meat on all sides with salt, then place it in a heavy, 8 quart pot.
Place over medium high heat and sear until browned on both sides, turning
several times. Remove and set aside on a plate. Immediately add the oil and the
sliced onion. Saute for 5 minutes, until onions are wilted. Add the tomatoes and
stir with the onions for 2 or 3 minutes, until the tomato juices start bubbling.
Add half the cabbage. Place the meat on the cabbage, then top with the remaining
cabbage. Add water, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower
heat and simmer, covered, very gently, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring
occasionally, until the meat is so tender it practically falls apart when
prodded with a fork. Stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning, adjusting
with additional salt, pepper, sugar or lemon juice, as desired. Refrigerate the
soup overnight, then skim off the hardened fat. Strip the meat into large
pieces, discarding bones. Return the meat to the soup. Reheat the soup. Serve
piping hot in a deep bowl with a boiled potato on the side, or serve in a flat
bowl with quarters or chunks of potato in the bowl with the soup. Garnish with
Advance Preparation: The soup is much better if made a day ahead and reheated.
It also freezes very well. In either case, however, it's flavor will require
refreshing. Taste carefully for salt, pepper and lemon juice.