1. Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium heat and cover. Brown both sides. The caramelization will give the broth more flavor.
2. Add water and beef bones and parts. Cover with a lid and softly simmer from two to four hours. For tough meat, simmer longer to soften the meat. You could add water and simmer the beef steak to soften it. Then add Swanson's beef broth using the ratio - one part water to one part broth.
3. This step is optional especially if your meat has a lot of fat. You let the broth cool and place in a refrigerator over night. The saturated fat will float to the top and solidify. Then you scoop out the fat with a spoon and re-heat the broth.
4. Add onions, beets, carrots, bay leaves, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for at least an half hour.
5. Add the diced potatoes and simmer for additional 20 minutes. With 10 minutes remaining, add the sliced cabbage.
6. Serve soup into bowls and add a dollop of sour cream to the top.
Tip: Borsch is a soup, so you can add or remove ingredients you like. Some add beans to the soup while others elminate the onions.
Tip: If beet juice splashes on the counter top or table, make sure you wipe the beet juice up immediately. Beet juice will stain counter and table tops.