Friday, January 6, 2012

I hate beets! Or do I?

Beets.  Blech.  Taste like dirt. 

They are cooked with salt pork!  Everything is better with salt pork.  Seriously, though, I do not like beets.  However, they were one of the few vegetables that did well in the garden this year, and there they were, in my cellar, mocking me.  And shriveling.  I needed to bite the bullet and cook some up.

I admit I didn't really know how to cook them, so I did an internet search and came up with....nothing that sounded appealing.  I did learn that I needed to cook them in some way first to remove the skins, and then cook them some more in my chosen method.  Today both the hubster and I were running in many directions with very little time and would be getting home from work around 7:30, with hungry animals to care for.  So I scrubbed three large beets, trimmed the very top off as well as the long hairy roots, and tossed them into the smaller Dutch oven and put it on the woodstove for six hours.  That should either take care of the first cooking, or char the beets enough that I could say, well, I tried.  And toss them out to the hens.

I also parboiled two small potatoes from the garden, and diced them up.  I took out enough cooked corned beef from the freezer to make hash as the main dish.  We'd find something green to round out the meal later.  Off we went to work.

The beets had roasted perfectly in our absence (drat!) so I peeled and diced them while some salt pork was frying.  I added the beets, then got the potatoes into a hot pan of melted lard.  I like to brown the potatoes a bit before adding the corned beef, so the 'taters are crispy without the beef getting dried out.
Meanwhile, hubby got some frozen grocery store spinach in the steamer and unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher.  Home cooking does produce a lot of dirty dishes, and we both work hard to keep on top of them.  On a busy day, however, we do get behind.  I'd far rather come home to a sinkful of dirty dishes than resort to take-out food, however.  Sometimes something just has to give, and I'd rather it be housekeeping than proper food.  The dishes will eventually get washed, and good health must be prioritized.  Once lost, it is a struggle to regain.

After a few minutes, I added the chopped corned beef and browned it.  It absorbed all of the grease right away, so I added another glob of our precious high-vitamin lard.

Within about an hour of arriving home, the goats were fed and watered, the chickens were put to bed, the dishes were in the dishwasher, and we were eating this:
I must say, those beets were so delicious that I went back for seconds.  These were nothing like any beets I'd ever eaten before.  Was it because they were home grown?  Was it the cooking method?  Who knows, but it will be a sad day when the box of beets in the basement is empty.  Never thought I'd say that.  Never thought Peter would agree.

What is your favorite way to eat beets?


  1. I lOVE beets. In fact, I always thought of making a t shirt proclaiming my feelings. Try slicing them really thin and pickling them. No need to cook or peel!

  2. I actually like beets but this recipe made converts out a few friends who don't

  3. I love beets, had them last night for supper. But I am intrigued with cooking them with salt pork.

  4. You just HAVE to try it! SO good! I'm going to devote more garden space for them this spring, for sure.