Cut meat into bite-size pieces. Slice the garlic cloves. Break the bay leaves into smaller pieces. Season the meat. Combine everything. Refrigerate meat for at least 2 days.
Peel and quarter beets. Add beets and 5 cups water to a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook 20-25 minutes, until beets pierce easily with a knife. Once cooked, remove them from water and setaside cool. KEEP WATER.
In a large pot, bring 14 cups water to a boil.
Rinse seasoning off of meat. Add the meat to the boiling water. Remove scum and fat that accumulates and floats to the top of the water. It’s very important to keep removing the scum frequently. Turn heat down to low/medium, cook meat about 35-40 minutes or until meat is tender.
While meat is cooking, peel and cube the potatoes. Add to a bowl and cover with cold water so they don’t turn color. Set aside.
Shred the cabbage. Set aside.
Chop the onion finely. Add to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter and saute 3 minutes on medium heat.
While onion is cooking, grate carrots.
Add carrots to the skillet with another 2 Tbsp butter, mix. Cook about 5-6 minutes or until carrots are tender. (If the skillet begins to get dry, add a bit of oil.)
Take the cooled beets and grate them. Add to the skillet with onion and carrots.
Cube red pepper or cut into small thin strips add to skillet. Add minced garlic to skillet.
Chop tomatoes and add to the skillet. Add the water leftover from cooking the beets to skillet with sauteed veggies. Turn heat down to med/low and cook about 5 minutes.
Once meat is tender, add potatoes and cabbage. (If you like the cabbage a bit crunchier, add about 5 minutes after potatoes are added.) Cook 15 minutes.
Transfer all of the ingredients from the skillet to the pot. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, parsley and dill. Cook another 5-10 minutes or until potatoes and cabbage are tender. Taste if additional seasonings are needed.
Add fresh herbs of choice.
Serve with sour cream.