For the past several days, it has been 100 degrees here in Albuquerque. Just too hot to turn on the oven. I recently decided to have a “clean out the refrigerator” night, using the beets and some of the carrots in a foil dinner. Since we are not allowed to make a charcoal fire now because of the high fire danger, I cooked them right on the propane grill. You don’t need a recipe for a foil dinner. Just put everything you want in a square of foil, wrap it up, and cook. We had pretty big packets, so they took about 25 minutes. You do want to use some sort of liquid to keep everything from burning. I used a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, but have also used BBQ sauce, salad dressing (Italian is great!), and butter.
I spent half of Sunday afternoon deciding what to do with the beets from our harvest box. I knew I wanted to bake with them, and had actually roasted them on Saturday. I saw a blog post about making bread in the crock pot that sounded interesting. But, I on call, and was afraid that I would get the bread started and then have to go out and make a patient visit. Cookies seemed to be a much safer choice. (Though, in the end, I didn’t end up getting called.) I found this recipe for pumpkin cookies from The Post Punk Kitchen and thought it would easily adapt. I got a big, unsolicited, “These are really good,” from my husband, and I hope you will like them, too.
Every time I cook beets, I think about my son. He LOVED beets when he was little. As he got older, we somehow stopped eating them. I don’t think I ever bought fresh beets until we started getting our harvest boxes. We had grown them in our garden many years ago, so I was a little familiar with how to cook them. Tonight, I decided to grill them directly on the grill, a method I had not used before. This is so simple! There are no proportions in this recipe. Just make as much as you want!
I haven’t used by crock pot in a while, so I wanted to use it to make a work night main dish with the beets this week. Stew seemed the obvious choice. It was a great opportunity to clean out my refrigerator before our next box comes!
4 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stems and chopped
1 pound beef stew meat cubes
4 medium beets, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups beef broth
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice.
Heat oil in skillet. Combine flour and rosemary. Add beef cubes and toss to combine. Shake excess flour off the cubes, reserve. Brown beef in oil.
Place beef, reserved flour mixture, beets, carrots, onion, garlic, broth, and basil in crock pot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours. (I cooked it for 12 hours and it was not overcooked. Serve over brown rice.
I had originally planned to add some of the beet greens, but waited too long to get to this and the greens had wilted too much. If you are more organized than I am, give it a try, and let me know how it turns out.