Tuesday, 8 February 2011


It's time for another Chef & the Mum post!

The ingredient is BEETROOT.

 It is a fist fight between Eggplant & Beetroot for my favourite vegetable.......so when Mish chose it for this months ingredient I squeeled with DELIGHT!!

Beetroot is such a great ingredient- and sooo beautiful!  You can use all of it!  The root itself is what most people use but the leaves are fantastic cooked (like you would spinach) or used fresh in salad or sandwiches.

And so.....off to market, to market to buy a fat beetroot skipped me and my family of 7!

I love taking the kids to Vic Market- well actually I love taking them to any market.

But the hustle & bustle of the Queen Victoria market is such a pleasure to me.  The shouting out of bargains, the happy faces of people finding a bargain, the gorgeous weathered faces that tell stories of lives lived, the beautiful smells, the colours, the displays.

I can't resist looking at other peoples trolleys wondering what they will be cooking up with their goodies.  Sometimes I ask...I love to share ideas, thoughts, joy.

I am learning to not be upset when people shake their heads in disapproval at my trail of kids & take more notice of the smiles and the cute finger counts and gasps of incredulity at the number of the kids ("FIVE!!!! DO YOU HAVE 5 BOYS???!!!!) as we weave like a slithering snake through the busy crowds.

Generally the snake looks something like this. First comes the 10yo...eager to source something new to taste or marvel at. Then the 8yo keenly manoeuvering the double layer trolley with me by his side helping avoid other peoples ankles being mamed!  Then the 12yo with the 4yo cuddling him tight on his back- piggy back style.  Then the papa bear with the 2yo perched in the backpack sucking his thumb, nuzzling his blanky taking in EVERYTHING!

And then we fill our trolley with beautiful ingredients and a whole lot of fun has been had.  We head back to our car (or the Mystery Machine as we call it- Scooby Doo anyone??) laden with deliciousness ready to cook up a storm together.

My friends know my love for beetroot.

And some of them have partaken in my Beetroot Confit.

Today I am going to share that recipe.



  • 2 bunches of organic baby beets
  •  3 whole star anise
  • 2-3 cups of Dark Brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • water

Trim the leaves off the beetroot.

Scrub the beets well to remove all dirt (you can peel them if you prefer but i like to use every last bit!)  They look sooo beautiful- you will see the gorgeous colour.

Grate the beets. (If u have a food processor attachment this makes this step super fast!) If doing this step by hand u may want to wear gloves!

Place sugar in a pan with the star anise.  (on this.....is there a prettier spice??!!! MY FAVE!)

whole star anise
Cook on a low heat till sugar has dissolved.

Add grated beets and balsamic and a little water & cook with a lid on for 2 hours or until the mixture is caramelized, gooey and soft.  You may need to add a little water to help soften the beets.   

The mixture will keep in a jar for months in an airtight jar.  It will be the prettiest jar in the fridge!

It is delicious on steaks (especially if you mix a little horseradish through it), with fish or roast chicken or on sandwiches.  Or just licked straight off the spoon. My kids love it!

WARNING: I have NEVER actually measured this recipe so I am approximating measures.  It really is a "go by taste" recipe.  You need to taste test after beets are cooked through to see if you need more sugar.. there is no harm in adding it right at the end.  

check out what the others made:

Todays listening pleasure is a beautiful piece of music.....close your eyes and savour:


  1. One of my dreams in life is to find a lippy and a paint in the exact shade of the juice of cooked crimson beetroot! Adore this recipe...it's going to be added to my pile of beetroot recipes!

  2. i love beetroot too ruth.
    and i love this post. i think its so wonderful that you take all the kids, its so easy just to do things like that on your own as its quicker but you are providing them with just such a great experience - i love it!

  3. Brilliant! Confit beetroot sounds wicked on fried bread and goats cheese!

  4. Oh yes! I love to find this in your fridge. Did you see the MKR episode with Polish Beetroot soup. That too looks just superb. AND! I've got my very own beetroots waiting in our garden to be used for these goodies. Incroyable n'est-ce pas??? JOmaxxx

  5. I can't wait to try this one. I love beetroot but have never cooked it myself. It looks deelish, especially with some horseradish on steak! xxx

  6. This beetroot will be helpful for those who have low hemoglobin level. Its delicious!!I wish I could make this for my mom soon.

  7. My mother in law is Polish and she and I share a love of beetroot. Unfortunately my husband does not so I usually only enjoy it at her place. Thanks you for sharing your recipe.

  8. We had a glut of beetroot earlier this year. I have taken the liberty of printing out your recipe. I have no doubt we will enjoy another glut next year. And I love to preserve.

    My children adore beetroot. I resent buying canned when we have no homegrown....this may be my solution...so, thank you!

  9. It's so great to hear from so many beetroot lovers! Even if you have to have it elsewhere!
    I have some other fave beetroot recipes I will post over time...Borscht & a mean beetroot curry.
    (@Lucy- skip over to Katrina's blog- she did her own home pickled beetroot)

  10. Fab recipe, thank you, I'll give this a go. I love it squeezed fresh into vegetable juices. 5 boys, my goodness you are busy. Congratulations on a job well done!

  11. well! I've - finally! - got my confit on the stove. Only a month since you posted the tantalising recipe and my poor beetroots have been waiting, waiting to be picked. Today is at last the day and it looks and smells so good. Thanks, darling! Off for a swim and then back for lunch -beetroot confit anyone? Joma

  12. How serendipitous - I tossed some star anise in my trolley last week with no idea of what to do with it. This. This is what I'll do with it.


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