If you are looking for a super easy but elegant enough side dish for parties, then melting beets is a great way to go. Similar to melting potatoes (or any melting vegetable for example) these beets are simply braised in stock for a rich and flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth side dish.
When most people think of beets, they most often imagine the famous Ukrainian borsch soup. And it is true that beets have a bit of an unfair reputation, at least in America. I think it has to do with the fact most people don’t know how to cook them properly. But to be frank, you can cook them similar to any other root veggie, like potato or carrot.
Beets are absolutely delicious when simply roasted. But these melting beets take it to a new level. And they still only require four ingredients! This is a great side dish option for light or acidic dishes like fish or poultry as the earthy beets balance everything nicely!
How To Cook Melting Beets
Similar to melting or fondant potatoes, melting beets only need four ingredients – and two of them can be considered a garnish!
Melting Beets Ingredients
- 500 grams Beets – (or about one pound). Boiled and peeled. If you didn’t buy already peeled beets then boil for around a half hour or until the skin comes off easily. You don’t need to boil completely, as they will braise for a while, you just need to get the skins off.
- 500 ml Chicken Stock – store bought or homemade. If your stock is not salty then you will need to add salt as well.
- 150 grams Cheese – this is optional but I find a good cheese nicely balances the melting beets. I used a fresh bryndza which is a type of sheep’s cheese popular in the Carpathian mountains. You can use salty bryndza or just a regular goat’s cheese if you like.
- Dill – chopped, for garnish
Slice your beets to around 4-5 cm (about two inches) thick and place on a baking dish. You want a baking dish just large enough to hold all the slices, but to not squish the beets together.
Pour the chicken stock over the beets and place in an oven at 190C or 375F. Let them cook for 20 minutes, then flip them and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. If all the stock evaporates before the time is up then you should add a bit more stock. This can happen if your baking dish is TOO large and the surface area made the stock spread too thin. You want the stock to start about half way up the beets.
After removing the tray from the oven, crumble over the cheese and sprinkle some dill to taste. Enjoy!
What To Serve With Melting Beets
Since melting beets are a side dish, here are some main dishes I think would pair well.
- Grilled Trout – or to stick with a theme you can do a Carpathian baked trout which would also be great with these beets.
- Duck With Blackcurrants – the sweet earthiness of these beets would pair wonderfully with the rich duck with tart berries
- Mediterranean Sea Bream – fish goes great with beets, especially lemony Mediterranean style fish!
- 1 Baking Dish
- 500 grams Beets (or about one pound). Boiled and peeled. If you didn't buy already peeled beets then boil for around a half hour or until the skin comes off easily. You don't need to boil completely, as they will braise for a while, you just need to get the skins off.
- 500 ml Chicken Stock store bought or homemade. If your stock is not salty then you will need to add salt as well.
- 150 grams Cheese this is optional but I find a good cheese nicely balances the melting beets. I used a fresh bryndza which is a type of sheep's cheese popular in the Carpathian mountains. You can use salty bryndza or just a regular goat's cheese if you like.
- Dill chopped, for garnish
- Slice your beets about 4-5cm or roughly 2 inches thick and lay them down on a baking tray. Pour over the chicken stock so it goes up about halfway the sides of the beets.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C or 375F and place the tray inside. After 20 minutes open up and flip the beets, then cook for another 20 minutes.
- Note: If the stock evaporates before the 40 minutes is up, you will have to add more. This is likely because the oven is too hot or the baking tray is too large (more surface area for liquid to evaporate). So to be safe it is better to have a bit more than the 500ml of stock needed.
- When the beets are done remove the tray and crumble over the cheese. Sprinkle over the chopped dill and serve. Enjoy!