Wehrmacht recipe – “Borschtsch” (Russian National Dish)

Last weekend Sicherungs-Regiment 195 participated in the annual Ostfront reenactment in Haydenville, Massachusetts. We issued 24 hours’ worth of cold rations on Friday evening and then gave out warm rations on Saturday night. For the warm rations we wanted to recreate something that might have been made in a Wehrmacht field kitchen. To fit with the Ostfront setting, we picked a dish from the cookbook “”Östliche Speisen nach deutscher Art” (Eastern Meals in German Style),  a collection of recipes collected by the Oberkommando des Heeres and intended for issue to troops serving in the occupied Eastern areas.

Borscht (Borschtsch in German) is a traditional soup made with beets, cabbage and potatoes that is popular in many Central and Eastern European regions. This Wehrmacht recipe is simple, hearty and delicious.

Russian National Dish

120g pork (pickled or smoked meat is preferred)
350g potatoes
350g white cabbage
500g red beets
15g fresh onions
20g fat or oil
Salt, dill leaves, coriander, soup herbs

Boil the meat and remove it.
Peel and dice the potatoes, slice the cabbage into strips, cook them in the broth.
Roast the onions in the hot oil.
Clean, peel and dice the beets and braise them in broth.
At the end, combine the ingredients, season to taste.

Note: The red beets can never be cooked together with the cabbage and potatoes because the beets will dye the other vegetables and make the food look unappetizing.
In place of part of the red beets, carrots or yellow turnips can be used. Yellow turnips can be cooked together with the beets. The meal can also be thickened with a roux.”

In the field we have no means of refrigeration, which limits use of fresh ingredients. For the pork, we used sausage in a glass jar. We utilized canned beets and potatoes, fresh cabbage and dill. Knorr bouillon cubes seasoned the broth.