by Jen Inglis
Our kitchen magician Jen Inglis shares the recipe for the fantastic Beetroot relish she developed here at Steampunk to serve with our Grilled Cheese. This has been a runaway hit with visitors - now you can enjoy it at home too!
Steampunk's Beetroot Relish
Beetroots don’t get the respect they deserve. Their earthy, sweet flavours can be intimidating and passed over for other root vegetables that have better PR. BUT, beetroots are versatile and delicious! They are fantastic boiled, roasted, pickled, or raw and have antioxidant properties. Beets are a hardy UK grown crop and since cutting food miles has got to be part of everyone’s future if we’re going to save the world, it’s time to get friendly with beetroot.
This is a relish recipe that I put together for our grilled cheeses. It’s a gorgeous purple colour and a really easy recipe that lets the beetroot, alongside the caraway, do its thing. The apple in there creates a nice consistency and rounds out the flavour. It’s a recipe that reminds you of everything great about autumn and would look beautiful on a cheeseboard, is perfect in sandwiches or toasties, as a salad topping or a condiment on pretty much any meal. Maybe not breakfast cereal.
4 large peeled and grated beetroot,
2 large peeled, cored and grated bramley apples,
2 large sliced white onions,
3 cloves finely chopped garlic (if you’re feeling confident, then smear and smush the fine chopped garlic along with a tiny pinch of salt and couple of drops of olive oil using the flat of the knife blade. It’s a brilliant way to release the garlic oils and you’ll end up with a lovely potent garlicky paste that’s great to use in all sorts. Don’t use your nicest chopping board for this though, unless your willing to have a garlicky aroma added to whatever you are chopping for the rest of your life.)
1 tsp caraway seeds,
2 bay leaves,
1tsp ground cumin,
½ tsp smoked paprika,
1 tsp ground coriander,
200g sugar (I use half caster sugar and half demerara but use what you like)
250ml vinegar (I use white wine vinegar but will work with red wine vinegar or cider vinegar if that’s what you’ve got.)
1 tsp salt (I start with one then add more to taste)
Some freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grater or if you’re lucky enough to have a food processor with grater attachment then you won’t end up with scary purple hands. Using a grater plus marigolds also solves this problem.
Heavy Bottomed Pan deep enough for all the relish
Tupperware if keeping in fridge or Sterilised Jars if you want to store out of the fridge/give as a gift (Make about 3 jars with this recipe)
If you’re not sure how to sterilize jam jars for chutneys or jams then here is a very handy and clear step by step guide: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-sterilise-jars
Gently toast caraway seeds in dry pan for 2 mins. Then add oil and fry your onions till golden, add your garlic, bay leaves, spices, grated apple and beetroot then mix so it’s all well coated in the oil and starting to soften. Then add your sugar, salt and vinegar. Cook over a low heat till the beetroot is soft (about 20 minutes) and then decide if you want your consistency jammy or with a little more bite. I prefer to take off the heat once the beets are just soft as the depth of colour can be lost if you cook further, but if you want a more jammy relish you can continue until there is only a little liquid left. Transfer to your containers and then eat with pretty much everything!