Saturday, 18 February 2012

Beetroot Relish

This is a sweet relish with a hint of spice- perfection when served with cold meat or cheese. Admittedly the chopping is a bit tiresome but the effort is very much worth it in the result.

  • 1.35kg (3lb) raw beetroot
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 450g (1lb) shallots finely chopped
  • 600ml cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tblsp pickling spices in a muslin pickling/spice bag
  • 450g (1lb) granulated sugar- use what you have, white is fine

Put the beetroot (with skin on) in a preserving pan or a large heavy based, stainless steel saucepan. Pour over enough water to cover them, add the caster sugar. Bring them to the boil and then simmer for an hour or until the beetroot is soft and cooked. Drain and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice into small neat pieces.
Put the shallots and vinegar in the rinsed out preserving pan or saucepan and cook for 10 minutes ona  low heat. Add the chopped beetroot and the muslin bag of spices. Give the mixture a stir, add the sugar and cook gently until the sugar has all dissolved. Bring to the boiland cook at a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Remove the spice bag and ladle (usually with great difficulty!) into warm sterilised jars with vinegar proof lids. Fill them all the way to the top so that there are no air gaps. Seal, label (pretty labels of course) and store in a cool dark place. Allow the flavours to mature for about a month and pop it in the fridge once you open it.

  • If you want to save time, you can cook the beets the night before so they are cold when you want to get started
  • Add some corriander seeds or a fresh chopped chilli with the shaloots for an extra spice flavour
  • remember to try and 'top and tail' the beets without cutting into the flesh too much because otherwise they bleed into the water when you cook them and the colour of your relish wont be as good.

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