Blow your head off Beetroot!

I’ve had an abundance of beetroot from my veg patch this year. I grow it because I just LOVE beetroot, especially if it is pickled or roasted. I especially love a certain supermarket brand of ‘sweet fire’ beetroot and I’ve tried for ages to make something similar.  Well – I finally think I’ve cracked it!

I’ve found in the past that when I’ve pickled beetroot it can sometimes be watery. I think this is because recipes require you to boil the beetroot before pickling. Similarly, I’ve found that when you roast beetroot, it’s really lovely at the time, but does not keep very well.

I wanted to try and find a way to get that lovely pickle flavour in the beetroot, create that lovely roasted texture and flavour, avoid it being watery and also to preserve it so that it can be enjoyed at a later date.  I started experimenting and hit upon a winning formula that involves roasting the beetroot first with some herbs and then pickling it in a fiery liquid.

The recipe below is really very similar to a certain supermarkets ‘sweet fire’ beetroot so it’s a win win in my book!

For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

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Blow your head off Beetroot

  • Servings: Makes 1 x 75cl jar
  • Difficulty: easy
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A really easy recipe which makes a delicious accompaniment to any meal.

  • I’ve made my version quite spicy, but you can make yours less spicy by simply using less or no chilli.
  • I’ve purposely made a small quantity as I often find that recipes make at least 4 or 5 jars and I know that often I don’t want that much of something.
  • If you don’t want to pickle your beetroot, that’s fine, just follow up to the end of step 1. If you are not pickling, the roasted beetroot is a great accompaniment for a Sunday roast, but should be eaten right away.
  • Also note that after step 1 we don’t need the garlic for the pickling stage, but don’t throw it away, it’s wonderful made into a dip, eaten as it is or used up to make a roast garlic butter.

Ingredients

  • 450g of small beetroot (or 6 medium sized ones)
  • For the roasting of the beetroot
  • 5 x garlic cloves bashed
  • 4 x tbsp of olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 6 x tbsp of good balsamic vinegar
  • a few sprigs of your favourite fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme as that’s what I’d got)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • For the pickling liquid
  • 225ml of red wine vinegar
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of course sea salt
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 2 petals from a star anise (not the whole star, just two tiny pieces of it broken off)
  • 5 – 10 dried Birdseye chillies
  • 1 x bayleaf
  • a piece of mace or dried orange peel

Directions

  1. Scrub the beetroot and cut off any leaves (you don’t need to peel at this point).Place the scrubbed beetroot, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and oil into a packet of double layered foil giving it all a good old toss. Make a tent with the foil so that it’s tight and no juices will escape. Then place the whole lot inside a roasting tin and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180 fan for about 40-50 minutes (if you’ve got bigger beets this may take 5-10 minutes longer). When cooked, let it cool and slip off the skins (you may want to put gloves on for this).
  2. Whilst the beetroot is roasting make the pickling liquid by heating the vinegar, sugar and all of the other pickling ingredients in a pan. Don’t let it boil, but let it simmer for about 5 minutes. When the time is up allow to cool slightly.
  3. Place your cooled roasted beetroot into clean sterilised jar and pour over the pickling liquid. Seal and leave for about a week. Once opened keep in the fridge. Unsealed, these pickled beetroots will keep for up to a year (but honestly they will never last that long).

I hope you enjoy this recipe, for other recipes on my site, please follow this link.