Chef Rachel Klein
Rachel Klein




Chef Rachel Klein
Aura | Boston, MA

Scarlet Borscht, Smoked Sable, Candy Striped Beets, and Sour Cream
Chef Rachel Klein of Aura – Boston, MA
Adapted by
October 2009

Yield: 10-12 Servings


Scarlet Borscht, Smoked Sable, Candy Striped Beets, and Sour CreamPickled Pearl Onions:
1 pint red wine vinegar
2 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 allspice berries
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pint water
2 medium red beets, peeled and sliced
1 quart red pearl onions, peeled

Borscht Gel:
½ ounce olive oil
1½ ounces ginger, peeled and julienne
10 pounds red beets, peeled and medium dice
Kosher salt
1 cup cider vinegar
3 quarts leek stock
½ cup sugar
1 cup raspberry red wine vinegar
¼ cup ginger juice
White pepper
8 grams agar
1½ grams xanthan gum
800 grams borscht base

Vinegar-Braised Potatoes:
1 quart mixed color peanut potatoes
1 quart leek stock
1 cup dry Riesling
1 pint cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves chopped
5 sprigs fresh dill, fronds chopped
Olive oil
White pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice

To Assemble and Serve:
Smoked sable, thinly sliced and rolled
Sour cream
Candy striped beets, scrubbed and shaved into thin rounds
5 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves chopped
5 sprigs fresh dill, fronds chopped


For the Pickled Pearl Onions:
Bring the vinegar, dill, peppercorns, allspice, sugar, salt, water, and beets to a boil. Pour the liquid over the onions. Cool and let pickle for 7 days before using.

For the Borscht Gel:
In a stainless steel pot, sweat the ginger in the olive oil. Add the beets and mix thoroughly; season with salt. Add the cider vinegar and reduce the liquid by half. Add the leek stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beets for 35 minutes or until soft. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Steep for 1 hour on very low heat. Strain the beets, reserving the liquid. Add the raspberry vinegar and the ginger juice to the beet liquid. Season with the salt, white pepper, and sugar. Strain through cheesecloth and let cool.

Use an immersion blender to mix the agar and xanthan gum into the beet base. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 seconds while whisking. Allow to cool until set. Transfer the gel to a blender and blend until creamy. Strain through a chinois.

For the Vinegar-Braised Potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a hotel pan, combine the potatoes, leek stock, Riesling, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, parsley, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover with a layer of parchment and foil. Transfer to the oven and bake until the potatoes are fork tender. Let the potatoes cool in the liquid until warm. Remove the potato skins and toss in the cilantro, dill, and olive oil. Season with salt, white pepper, and lime juice.

To Assemble and Serve:
Use a paintbrush to brush the sour cream across the plate. Place 3 pieces of sable and 2 potatoes on the sour cream. Arrange the candy stripe beets and spoon small dollops of borscht gel around the plate. Garnish with the pickled pearl onions, dill, and cilantro.

back to top

   Published: October 2009