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Iberico Ham and Borscht

In Food, Food Product for Home, Home Creation on August 20, 2013 at 11:30

Doof Home


Yummiest Iberico Ham from Spain (thanks KC!)  This was possibly the yummiest 100g of meat!

I loved the deep red color of the ham.  The flavors were deep and complex.  There was a hint of smokiness and a hint of blood flavor — in a good way, similar to medium rare steak, and a hint of nut.  It was salty and sweet at the same time.  The texture was the best part!  As I chewed, first the fat dissolved, then the meat melted away and finally the tendon was left and I could probably chew that forever if not that my jaw got tired!  The aftertaste was superb.  The ham flavor lingered a long while after the meat was long gone from my mouth.  I took a long break after every slice just to savor the after flavor and also aftertaste that was sweet.

Originally I bought a cantaloupe to compliment the ham, but decided something so great ought to be lusted over on its own!

Made Borscht last night for dinner.  This is a recipe I love for a very long time from “The Book of Soup” by Lorna Rhodes.  I modified the recipe by deleting brown sugar as I find the soup naturally sweet enough from beets and carrots.  My version was vegan using a veggie stock rather than traditional beef stock.  I also skipped the diced potatoes and sour cream that was for final plating.



1 onion

2 large carrots

2 stalks of celery*, hand slices

1 lb beets, no greens

6 cups of water

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp veggie stock powder^

black pepper

salt if needed

Shred onions, carrots and beets in food processor.  Hand slice the celery.

Flatten the garlic cloves.  Bring water to boil.

Place all vegetables, garlic, vinegar, bay leaf, caraway seeds and veggie powder in boiling water and bring to boil again.  Simmer for 20 mins minimum.

Season with black pepper and salt if needed.

*last night I did not have celery and experimented with fennel.  The soup was still delicious!

^Vegeta was the vegetable stock powder I used.  It is a Croatian product.  My friend’s mom (thanks SP!) had introduced Vegeta to me during our trip to Montenegro.  It can be found easily in Eastern European or Russian stores in the area.  I like using Vegeta over boxed vegetable stock because its flavors are more balance and rounded (probably the MSG in the product, very little bit goes a long way).  I have tried many other boxed vegetable stock and they tend to have some sharp vegetable flavor that was too strong and out of balance (e.g. mushroom in some cases) and the unintentional vegetable flavor would show up in the dish or soup.  I even use this in Chinese cooking when I certainly cannot use the boxed vegetable stock since their flavor would be too “western”.


  1. […] The Surkal tasted just like a colesalw with my borscht flavor! […]

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