Autumn Cabbage and Smoked Meat Borscht

I found this recipe on Food Republic that I wanted to try with some porkstrami from Tails & Trotters, but I tinkered with it so much that I decided to re-write the recipe.

1 tbsp bacon fat
½ green cabbage (about ¾ lb)
½ large white onion, thinly sliced
2 or 3 golden beets, peeled and diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups pork stock, divided
¾ lb porkstrami, diced
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes, drained
½ cup distilled white vinegar
⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ tbsp pimentón
½ tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
Crema Mexicana
Rustic Rye Bread

Cut the cabbage into quarters lengthwise through the core. Trim out and discard the core from each quarter. Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin slices.

Heat the bacon fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, onion, beets, garlic and salt and stir to coat the vegetables in the fat. Pour in ¼ cup pork stock and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and onion are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the porkstrami, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, pimentón and gochugaru. Pour in the remaining pork stock (and additional water if necessary) to cover the mixture by about 1 inch and bring it to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a low simmer. Skim the foam that rises to the top of the borscht. Cook, uncovered, until the cabbage is very tender and the flavors come together, about 1 hour.

Serve with a dollop of Crema Mexicana and some Rustic Rye Bread on the side.

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I washed this down with some [Banished] Better Off Red from Crux Fermentation Project.