Tuesday, August 20, 2013


That's not a typo, last night we had BEET steaks. I finally got around to harvesting a huge Chioggia beet that I've been watching enlarge day by day out in the garden. It's difficult to get the full perspective on that biggie from this photo.

How about this shot. The entire plant weighed in at 3 pounds 1.8 ounces. Most of that was the greens, but the root alone was 1 pound 3.8 ounces. BIG

I didn't want to go through my usual process of wrapping it in foil and then roasting it. I was afraid that after going through that hour long process that I would find the roasted beet to be fibrous and nasty. And besides that concern I just wanted to try something different.

The last time I roasted a couple of beets, one Red Baron and one Chioggia, the Chioggia, which was larger than the Red Baron, turned out to be too tender and had a tendency to fall apart when I tried to slice it. That made me think that the Chioggia might be a good candidate for simply cutting up raw and sauteing, it might cook properly before it got too brown, and that I could catch it before it overcooked. So I peeled the raw beet and then sliced it into 4 thick rounds. To my delight it turned out to be not at all woody or fibrous, plus I had the pleasure of seeing the candy stripe colors of the raw root. I should have taken a photo but didn't think of it.

I heated a couple or three tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat to get things off to a quick start and placed the beet rounds in the pan, salted them, immediately turned the heat down so the butter wouldn't burn and cooked them slowly, turning them occasionally, turning the heat down more as the butter browned eventually going as low as the flame would go, watched the beets caramelize as they cooked, poked them with the tip of a sharp knife to test the doneness (they don't bleed like beeFsteaks).

While they cooked I smashed a couple of cloves of garlic with some salt to make a garlic puree. (Did you know that to get the most healthful benefits from garlic that you should chop it at least 10 minutes before you cook it?). I took a spin out to the herb bed and snipped some chives and a large sprig of tarragon. When the beets were tender, don't ask me how long that took, they were done when they were done, I removed them from the skillet with tongs and arranged them on a plate. The smashed garlic went into the remaining butter in the warm skillet and cooked briefly and then I drizzled in some of that late harvest honey viognier vinegar that I mentioned a few posts back, let that reduce just a bit and then poured the mixture over the beets and gave it a good grind of black pepper.

And then I realized that my husband wasn't going to be home for at least 45 minutes. So here's one beauty of this dish, at this point I just let it sit, but it looked so good that I also thought to take a photograph.

When my husband walked in the door I popped the entire dish in a 200ºF toaster oven to allow the "steaks" to warm as I assembled the rest of dinner. Unfortunately I didn't think to take another photograph after I had sprinkled the dish with the chopped chives and tarragon. Next time.

My husband gave this dish his enthusiastic approval and I must say it was good. I think that if I had had some goat cheese handy I might have crumbled some on at the last minute, but it wasn't necessary, the dish was delicious and complete as it was.

It's always such a delight to take a complete flyer on concocting a new dish and have it come out really good. Now the issue is, will I be able to replicate it? I'm thinking that a typical red beet might not work as well, but perhaps it would, don't know til I try. The golden beets that are sizing up in the garden would probably be great prepared this way.

The cooking adventures continue. Thank you my dear for being such an adventurous eater!


  1. YUM! This sounds like a delicious way with light-colored beets!

  2. The beets look delicious; that is a great idea for how to cook them!

  3. Love this idea, leaves me thinking of all the other vegetables that can be cooked up this way!

  4. Oh this is just gorgeous! I love beets but never thought to do more than simply roasting them in the oven. Thanks for the tip on the garlic - I never knew that!

  5. I love beets, but I'm not sure any of ours come up steak size. Great idea.


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